moonstars

Blue Stars And Bright Moons, Delving Into Creating Seamless Repeats.

2015 was a year of working on learning some new skills and improving rusty ones.

One of those skills i wanted to improve was my textile designing and pattern repeats.I decided to teach myself the different techniques for seamless repeats, refresh myself on pattern repeat terminology, and get back into the habit of creating full collections.

I invested in textiles design books and online courses to improve my knowledge where my pattern cutting and fashion design background was lacking.  I found them illuminating and set upon practicing what I was learning.

I decided that my first stop should be to learn how to create seamless repeats using the traditional pen and paper method, and then digitize and clean up after.  This proved to be a slightly more challenging lesson than anticipated.

The method is simple you start with your piece of paper or velum that is either perfectly square or rectangle and you begin your pattern design from the center working outwards. Before getting to the outer edges (how close I go generally depends on my design elements) you cut the paper in half horizontally and then carefully line up the two outer horizontal edges together as if they were the center of the paper and secure them in place. Once secure you then work on those now blank areas that are in the center of your paper.  After that you repeat the process again vertically.   Once your tile is filled up as you intend with pattern details you can scan the paper and edit using image editing software and test the repeats for breaks or unwanted channels and lines.

This process in itself isn’t too tricky.  I found the most difficult part was lining up the paper halves so that when pieced back together they didn’t have breaks or miss alignments in the repeats.   My first three attempts had lines that didn’t meet perfectly and I had to resort to using a software image editing program to edit them back to meeting up perfectly after scanning them.

If you want to read a book that covers this method, I have enjoyed my kindle copy of A field guide to fabric design by Kim Kight.

Spoonflower had announced a contest themed for moon phases back in September and I was itching to enter.  I love the moon and stars and general space themes.  I decided that I was going to use the paper cutting method to create my entry.

For the design idea I had in mind I decided to create it in three layers, mostly for ease of creating more variations but also because I thought it might simplify things when trying this method for the first time.

I broke down those three layers into three elements of my design.

Abstracts swirls to represent space,

creating a swirls seamless repeat pattern using the paper method.

Creating a swirly seamless repeat pattern using the paper method.

Geometric stars,

Geometric stars tile on paper.

Geometric stars tile on paper.

And the moon.

Geometric moon drawing.

Geometric moon drawing.

I had the most trouble with matching up my swirls after cutting the paper and re-taping.  In the end I resorted to using a software app for creating those swirls as after 3 attempts on paper I kept miss-aligning the swirl lines and was quickly running out of time to submit before the contest started.

Four paper tile patterns.

Four paper tile patterns.

Once I was confident in my basic repeat line ups in each layer repeat, I took my digitised tiles,  cleaned them up and edited them to the same size ratio as my digitally created tile for the swirls was different proportions to my paper created repeats.  A lot of my lines lost some bulk in the clean up process so I did some touch ups with the brush pen to re draw any broken lines in the same colour as the pen lines.  Otherwise I think I did really well on the moon and stars paper repeats considering it was my first time using the paper and cut method.

When I finished each layer I was able to create three repeat pattern variations with them and fill them in with my chosen colour palette.

Space swirls blue tile.

Space swirls blue tile.

Starry sky monochrome textile pattern.

Starry sky monochrome textile pattern.

Blue stars, bright moons.

Blue stars, bright moons.

 

In order to create a full collection I have created different colour ways for each repeat that pull from the same colour palette.

A different colour way of the starry night sky.

A different colour way of the starry night sky.

A yellow moon colour way of Blue stars and bright moons.

A yellow moon colour way of Blue stars and bright moons.

I have also created some co ordinate patterns from smaller more concise design elements in the main designs.

Starry night Kaleidoscope.

Starry night Kaleidoscope.

Moon flowers.

Moon flowers.

Luna Love in Blue textiles collection.

Luna Love in Blue textiles collection.

The ultimate goal for this project was to learn a new skill, perfect old ones and create a full collection of seamless repeat patterns for textiles that consisted of a properly edited colour palette, and matching focal and co-ordinate prints.  Which overall I think I achieved and I am happy with the result.

Oh and as for the contest entry, I got a lot of compliments and likes and even though I didn’t win, I enjoyed creating the design.

 

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