If you've ever wondered how fabric repeats work, this simple how-to will give you a basic understanding of the methodology. And it's fun! ANYONE can do this - you don't need to be an artist!
Case in point.
I used this activity with my son's 7th grade class 2 years ago as well as the ladies in the Berks Quilters Guild a few weeks ago. Two very, very different audiences, and both loved it and created some wonderful designs. In my son's class, some smart alecks thought they'd be funny by scribbling on the page instead of drawing. I made sure to tell those kids, "Wow - that is going to look incredible when you're done!" And those designs truly looked great. Those same kids did an about-face when they realized you can't outsmart art. A little evidence that it doesn't matter what you put down on the page!
Couple of notes before we get started:
Ready to get started?
Step 1 / Create a doodle of any sort in the center of your page. You can fill as much of the page as you like as long as you don't go over any of the edges.
Step 2 / Cut your paper in half lengthwise. Move the right side to the left so the design is now on the outsides and the center is blank. Neatly and precisely tape the two halves back together on the back.
Step 3 / Cut your paper in half widthwise this time. Move the top half to the bottom so the design is now in the four corners and the center is blank. Neatly and precisely tape the two halves back together on the back.
Step 4 / Add some design elements to the center of your page, staying away from the edges again. At any point after you have your original design element in the four corners, you can call your repeat done. If you want to add more, do so. If not, that's cool beans, too!
Step 5 / Add texture or other filler to any negative space, if you think your design needs it, but stay away from the edges. I added the criss-cross lines around the flowers.
Voila! You are done. If you were to make a bunch of copies of your page and tile them horizontally and vertically, the edges would match-up seamlessly and look like any surface or fabric design that is created in repeat.
When designing in Illustrator, I create a square or rectangle on my screen. I tend to focus my design across the top edge and down the left side first, dragging copies of those motifs to the opposing edges as I go. Then I'll go back and fill in the spaces in-between. Once the artwork is cropped to the size of the square or rectangle, all edges will tile seamlessly when it is printed onto fabric. These repeats can take a couple hours or a couple weeks - depends on a lot of variables!
To give you an idea where you can go with your repeat if you have access to Illustator (or Photoshop, I guess - I don't use PS so I don't know what its capabilities are). This is when you could scan your paper repeat drawing and vectorize it in Illustrator to create points and lines that can be manipulated and colored, as I have shown above and below. This is ridiculously fun to play around with - dropping colors in, resizing motifs, rotating stuff around, pulling bits out of bigger elements and plopping them around the background..... so. much. fun.
Below, you can see what it would look like if the motifs were smaller. This is also where you can see if you've created an unintentional pattern in the design (like the blank space in my texture), and you can correct these.
Hope this all makes sense! Have fun giving this repeat method a try! Let me know how it goes.
Today is my 43rd birthday. What a year! I re-read my synopsis from last year's birthday post, and I could emphatically say "ditto" to the entire list. I'm sure you could, too - it's just that kind of easy-to-relate-to sort of list. The specifics may be unique to each of us, but our feelings as a result of what we experience are always similar. The human condition.
In looking back over this past year, there were certainly high-highs and low-lows. They were different highs and lows than last year, however, which is indicative of growth, experience and taking some control in places where I had not before. (...fool me twice, shame on me.)
I continue to be extraordinarily passionate about organic fabric and organic agriculture and the gigantic positive impact organics make to a less troubled right here, right now as well as to the future of our children's existence on this planet. Making the safest, best choices I can for my family and my fellow human beings is the foundation of my life and work with Daisy Janie. It's the security blanket I wrap myself in when I go to sleep, knowing I've engaged all modes, means and skills I have to be a good human.
While my passion doesn't pay the bills, it's certainly the jumping off point to that end. As I blowout my candles this year, I wish that the knowledge, creativity and dedication I bring to my 43rd year electrify my 4th year producing organic fabrics for the quilting industry. Good for me, good for you, good for all!
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My sister posted this picture on my personal facebook page today, and I cracked up!!! I'm the redhead on the right. I think we're eating icing. I desperately wanted to be a boy until I was about 7, and I loved being dressed like a boy instead of a girly-girl like my sister. The outfit she's wearing was made 100% by my mom - I can appreciate this gem now! Man, do I love those flowery pants!
Like a good poltergeist, it's baaaa-aaaaaack!
After a 2-year hiatus, the Daisy Janie black & white, color-it-yourself calendar is again in our midst! I've been fortunate to have very devoted & vocal fans of my calendar design, and I found I was no match for their gentle urgings this year to re-create the calendar (read: they pleaded and I can't say no). Gotta love the love sometimes - it's motivating!
Details about the calendar below the next image.
To celebrate the re-introduction, I'm offering 15% off until December 7th using code 15CAL. What's uber-cool about this code is that it will take 15% off the calendar and everything else in my shops, including cute scrap packs!
This 2013 hanging wall calendar is big, modern & fun! Each month includes an original geometric design. Color the designs to make your own patterns or leave it sleek & minimalist in black and white.
.......... F E A T U R E S ..........
+ 11” wide by 17” tall with roomy daily squares
+ 13-months (January 2013 – January 2014)
+ Handy note section at the bottom of each month
+ Inspirational quote on each page, too! Awwwww.
+ Printed on premium 80 lb cover ~ recycled content & FSC certified
+ Includes strong bulldog clip for easy hanging.
This, friends, is where knitting ends and art starts. Ha! I tried and tried to make knitting my go-to TV hobby, but we aren't a good fit in that realm yet. As a newbie, I'm not skilled enough to knit without intense concentration (smoke coming out of my ears), which is the very kind of concentration I'm trying to disentangle my brain from after 8pm at night.
I put down the needles and went back to TV doodling. We're old friends, and it's soooo free-ing to let the pen dance across the paper without an agenda. I don't think; I don't plan; I just start and let it flow. No counting or finger dexterity required.
I leave my paper and ink pens near my couch spot, and I grab them for 45 mins at night. Takes awhile to fill a page, much like the length of time I imagine completing a scarf might take!
Happy Weekend to you! Thanks for stopping by!
More doodle posts from the DJ blog over the years:
doodle-to-design | Flourish from the Tilly Collection
process: doodle to design
doodle on the floor
savor a doodle, doodle a savor
miles of doodling
laptop lock-up doodles
for the love of a sharpie
On previous occasions, I've likened my design process to my method of cooking: I keep a lot of good, simple ingredients on-hand that, when put together in whatever manner strikes me, end up becoming a pretty tasty & original meal.
And so it is with my fabric design. I doodle my heart out alllll the time, which leaves me with a lot of fun motifs that I can pull together into 1 cohesive design as I wish. Sometimes they are immediately delicious, and sometimes they are not fit for public consumption... in which case I pull them apart and let my brain stew on them a bit longer.
The elements of the Flourish design (from my Tilly organic fabric collection) were just random doodles I created in summer 2008 and winter 2009 (shown above). I played with them here & there, creating other designs (below) and other artwork with them. Although I liked this design, I was never completely sold on it. It was going in a direction I wasn't really interested in exploring... so I just held onto it.
(c) Copyright Daisy Janie.
I revisited it when I was thinking about what I wanted the main print for Tilly to look like - I knew there was an essence to these motifs that I could use. I added flowers and moved away from the vertical directionality, and slowly, the Flourish design started coming together. Editing, experimenting & persistence are the name of the design game for me!
(c) Copyright Daisy Janie.
If you need a last minute Advent calendar idea, this might help. I'm not going to give a detailed step-by-step b/c the pics do a decent job of providing the general idea, which is: loop string through treat bags, hang treat bags from dowels, hang dowels on strings on nails, done.
Treat bags are gently tugged to remove each day. My son had already pulled off today's, bottom row on the right. The little circle tag is left behind, which can be reused to wrap gifts or for next year!
Except for the treats in the bags, I used only supplies I had on-hand or that I could create.
- 2 dowel rods (you could also use cardboard tubes)
- butcher's twine
- Scotch tape
- double-sided tape
- hole punch
Supplies I created:
- 2-inch circle tags (doctored-up clip art from MS Word - downloadable below!)
- treat bags with my own festive design (use wrapping paper or tissue if you like)
Helpful - 2-inch tag punch (but you can cut the tags with scissors, too!)
The pieces of paper I used to make the treat bags were approximately 9"long and 4.25"wide. I folded them in half lengthwise, folded & taped the sides, and folded the top as shown. I cut all my treat bag strings about 17" long.
I added double-sided tape to the edges of the dowels and to about 8" lengths of ribbon. I wrapped the ribbon around the ends of the rods to give them a finished look as well as to keep the strings from sliding off the ends.
Click here to download the 2-inch circle tags below. These are clip-art motifs from MS Word that I altered, put into a 2-inch circle and re-colored. I do not claim any sort of copyright on these, but they should be used for your personal use only nonetheless.
Yesterday, we attended a wedding in an old, preserved mansion. In all the years we've lived in this area, we never even knew it existed. The funny part is that the bride & groom are from Barcelona (my husband's aunt), and they more or less found this charming location when they were looking for just such a place to tie the knot.
Of all the magnificent details in the mansion, I found myself drawn to these sheers. The winding leaf motif reminds me of my go-to leaf doodle, and the one that I used to create both my Boxwood fabric (from my Urbana collection) and my Vinery fabric (in the upcoming Tilly collection - sneak peek from yesterday).
It's a versatile little, teardrop leaf shape and is well-traveled through time and pattern design. I see it as much when I go to antique shops as I do in current products. I have no idea why I'm so attracted to it - just kinda feels good and very natural coming out of my pen onto paper.
What's your favorite motif to doodle? Do you see it frequently in old as well as new designs?
I've been deep in pattern creation for my first duvet cover design, and it's going well but is bugging me out at times b/c there's soooo much to consider to make sure it's accurate. *So much respect for pattern creators and writers!!
I took a break this morning and was messing aroung with the swirly leaf motif above. Truly, just messin' - this is not a completed design...but we're not talking about process here, right? Kay.
So I was pretty annoyed with it, and I thought, "What leaf in nature has a freakin' ball at the end of it? How dumb is that?" You know, b/c the leaf is so realistic-looking otherwise that the ball really stands out... [that's sarcasm there people].
Then my break needed a break from this goofy motif. Bleh. I took my camera outside to peek at the lilies with their fresh coat of raindrops.
I continued on to the front yard, and what to my wondering eyes should appear: a tiny leaf with a ball at the end of it! Thank you, Mother Nature for your response to my huffy-n-heated question! I should know better than to second guess you.
About 6 mos ago, I bought this organic cotton t-shirt (from Alternative Apparel) for my husband, but the sizing wasn't quite right. I've since had it floating around my studio, waiting for a reconstruction. In the meantime, I scouted various ideas for making changes to it - from loose tank tops to shirred halter tops - there are so many incredible ideas out there.
I'm kinda embarrassed to admit that I went all Safe Sally on this reconstruct, and basically just tapered the arms and sides like I usually do for shirts that are too big on me. Once I had it stamped, I was too afraid I'd ruin it by gettin' crazy. Next time, right?!
Note: Um, I don't go around calling myself foxy. Cuz that would be weird. Just needed a word to go with boxy. But, hey, if YOU want to be called foxy, lemme know. I'm all for giving ladies their props! I'll even sing it Jimi Hendrix style for you....
polymer clay necklace by Liz Smith of Made in Lowell
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Here are the basic steps I followed to complete this t-shirt reconstruction:
You'll need a plain old t-shirt, and something with which to create a stamp. I used an economy, pseudo lino-block purchased at my craft store. Made by Speedball. (Consider using a potato if you don't want to buy a block to carve.)
I cut the block into smaller pieces. I traced the 2 blocks I would be using onto a piece of paper. I drew my designs inside those frames.
I pressed very hard with my pencil to make the design as dark as I could. Then, I flipped the design onto the stamp and rubbed the backside of the paper with the side of pencil, using a lot of pressure.
I then carved, carved, carved. This was a very fun and soothing task! I didn't know how the linework would translate once printed - so this was all experimental fun. I didn't get to worried about it.
I used soft-drying fabric paint and 2 little sponge tools* to apply the paint. I daubed paint onto the stamp with the round one. When I placed my stamp on the t-shirt, I pressed gently on the backside with the rectangular one to get even pressure all over - not necessary I'm sure. Maybe just fingertip pressure or the heel of your hand would be sufficient.
Stamp randomly all over or stamp in a pattern. Stamp one design or stamp 100!
*Not knowing how this was going to go, I wasn't willing to make an investment in an ink brayer - and I knew a brush application (sponge or otherwise) would get too mucky in the tiny crevices in the design.
(Sorry to my BFF Jeanie who is cringing at the word crevice right now! Whoops - I said it again! Good times! Mwa hahahahahaha.)
(I have a lot to learn in the way of block printing - again, just want to emphasize the fun in doing this or a project like it. I was not after perfection b/c that leads to paralysis for me. Even if my 10th time block printing looks like this, I really won't care. But I will be happy that I tried.)
Once you have your design stamped, let it dry. Take a t-shirt you already have with a foxy fit you like, and lay it over your stamped t-shirt. Both t-shirts should be inside out. Use the 2nd t-shirt to trace a pattern for cutting the stamped t-shirt.
My pattern lines were basically like those in yellow above. Cut and restitch.
polymer clay necklace by Liz Smith of Made in Lowell
On the neckline, I did 2 stitchlines with elastic thread. The effect gets lost in this application b/c it stretches too far when it's on, but I like the look of the finish regardless. I will give this thread a try again - it is way too much fun to use!
I'll be experimenting with more stamps and t-shirts, too! I love the look of an artsy-fartsy handmade (and foxy) shirt! :)
© 2007-2016 Daisy Janie. All Rights Reserved.
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What's the big deal about organic cotton?
Here are some GREAT links to find out!
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Organic Clothing & Craft Resources
Thanks for visiting my blog! I am the owner, designer and chief bottlewasher of Daisy Janie. I have been a one-woman show for 17 years – in one artsy business or another. Seven years ago, I made my way to fabric & surface design, and eventually to self-production of my own organic fabric collections. It is here I plan to stay! I'll be writing about the fabric adventures as I go (but not giving away the farm of course) as well as other life-ly, happy things. I'm a 46-yr-old mom to a 19-yr-old kiddo, wife to the man of my dreams, doggie-owner of Scoutie-tu-tu and Georgie Porgie. I like to design fabrics, run, workout, hike, sew, google, garden, cook, eat, drink beer, and laugh (a lot).