Digital Fabric Design: Cheater Art Quilt

Another opportunity to go beyond The Spoonflower Handbook by creating an art quilt with digitally printed fabric. In the first class we will create a small art collage from textured and patterned paper; a hands-on way to add depth and complexity to your design with minimal computer skills needed. The second night we will scan to transform that art into a digital format and enlarge it to fit on a yard of fabric. Finish with some simple “photoshopping” to add details or adjust colors and get tips for creating coordinating prints to accompany your design. Your finished design can be printed to make a quilt or wall hanging, finishing/sewing to be completed on your own time. Materials fee $7, payable to the instructor. See supply list at registration for more details on technology and materials.

This class is 2 sessions: December 7 & 14

2015-10-22T17:51:46+00:000 Comments

Tutorial: Seamless Arrows Pattern, Part Four

(This is part four of a tutorial for making a seamless arrow pattern.  Find Part One and Part Two and Part Three here.)

Proofing and touching up the pattern is the finishing step to create the seamless arrow design and I am going to do that with the Photoshop pattern tool.  The first thing I do is select the whole design (Edit -> Select All) and create a pattern tile by choosing Edit -> Define Pattern and click OK.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.46.34 AMIt will look like nothing has happened.  That’s ok!  The tile that you selected has been saved in the patterns palette, which is kind of hidden.

To proof the design, I create a new blank file that is the size of a yard of fabric. That’s an arbitrary size – I just think it’s nice to look at a large number of repeats.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.46.58 AM

Then I choose Edit -> Fill from the menu.  From the pop-up Fill menu, choose Pattern from the contents drop down menu.  Just below that in Options there is another drop down and in it, you should find that pattern you just saved.  (See what I mean about a little hidden.)

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.47.25 AM

 

Now you can see what it looks like when the tile is repeating across a whole yard of fabric.  And right away a couple of things jump out at me.

arrow

Oops.  I didn’t think about the edges and I have a blank space where there aren’t any arrows. […]

2016-03-16T10:04:02+00:00Spoonflower & Fabric Design, Tutorials|Comments Off on Tutorial: Seamless Arrows Pattern, Part Four

Tutorial: Seamless Arrow Repeat Part 3

(This is part three of a tutorial for making a seamless arrow pattern.  Find Part One and Part Two here.)

For Part Three, I am going to move over and work with the design in Photoshop now.  Why?  I could easily add color in Illustrator, but the effect I want is to cut those arrowheads out of another photo, which will give it a very organic color wash instead of a solid color.

Open the file in Photoshop.

So first I open that file we just saved in Photoshop. I first double click the Layer marked Background to unlock it (making it Layer 0).  Then I use the Magic Wand tool and delete to remove the white background and just leave the pattern of black lines.  (Make sure the option marked contiguous at the top center is clicked off and you will select all of the white in the image and not just the parts touching where you click.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.11.41 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.15.30 AM

That will leave a checkerboard pattern in the background.  That is Photoshop’s way of telling you that is now transparent.

Add the photo layer.

Next I will add something to create that colored layer.  For my grant project design, I used one of the layers from the photo created by my design partner, so that her print and mine would coordinate.  But really anything will work, as long as it has the colors you want.  So for this example, I used a photograph of a columbine.  Choose File -> Place Embedded and pick your image.  Size/resolution is not really important.  Once you […]

2016-03-16T10:03:14+00:00Spoonflower & Fabric Design, Tutorials|Comments Off on Tutorial: Seamless Arrow Repeat Part 3

Tutorial: Seamless Arrows Print – Part Two

(This is Part Two of a tutorial for creating a seamless arrows print.  See Part 1 here.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.06.48 AM

Part two of the tutorial is all about making the design seamless.  What does that mean?  I want these arrows to look like they are traveling all over the fabric without having a a start and stop.  Even though I only made a small section of the design, I want it to look like I designed something bigger and disguise the edges of the repeating element.

Check and adjust your lines.

With this design, one way to make it look seamless is to make sure that any line that extends off the edge of the drawing, joins up with the design again.  In orange I circled two lines, which go off the edge at the top of the repeat, and then show up again at the bottom.  When I make this tile repeat and put two identical tiles next to each other, those lines will match up and look like they are one continuous line.  I should also say, you don’t have to always work in a repeat, in fact I don’t make repeats very often, but for this particular project I just needed some yardage and not a specific shape.  So a repeat was the easy way to go.  Make sense?

Try the Pattern Tool.

Illustrator also has a Pattern Tool which you can use to get a preview of what that repeating element will look like.  Select all of the elements in your design and then go to Object -> Pattern -> Make.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.09.17 AM

 

[…]

2016-03-16T10:02:27+00:00Spoonflower & Fabric Design, Tutorials|Comments Off on Tutorial: Seamless Arrows Print – Part Two

Jerome Grant Projects: Duet #2

My second project for my Jerome Grant is all about the story.  My partner Dawn and I have been friends since the 7th grade.  Dawn is now a professor, teaching art at a community college.  She isn’t a digital or fabric person at all; she gravitates towards printmaking and book arts.  I thought it would be fun to go “offline” with Dawn and write a series of postcards to one another.  I bought several packages of blank cards and a bunch of stamps and we mailed our conversation back and forth with one side of the card for words and one side for a sketch of something. She block printed, I water colored with tea and we talked about art.  Why do I hate working with the color red?  Do you have a “go to” doodle that you always draw when you don’t know what to draw?

Dawn really inspired me to do something hands on and get away from the computer a little bit.  So I started a series of designs based on cut paper collages made from found paper and junk mail.  I now have about 6 designs based on that idea and I am really loving that whole set of work.  We talked a little at the beginning of the project about making a garment that told a story. Could a dress be a book?

dots 2

 

This design is the base I started from.  Two sizes of circle punches and a stack of catalogs and envelopes.  I made 4 like this that became the final fabric design.  They alternate between bright colors with no text and grey/black/white with text on them.  I wanted to […]

2015-08-26T16:41:27+00:00An Artist's Life, Everything Else, Gallery Exhibitions|Comments Off on Jerome Grant Projects: Duet #2

Digital Design Tutorial: Faux Batik Part Two

This is the second post in a series: a digital fabric design tutorial making a faux batik print.  Yesterday I painted some batik-inspired designs on paper and today I am going to show how to scan and clean up the designs.
Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 4.55.55 PM

Part Two:  Scanning and preparing your paintings

This (above) is the program I use with my scanner.  It’s called Image Capture and is built in to the Mac.  You can use whatever scanner software you have – they are really pretty much the same.  I scanned each page of my paintings.  I chose to scan them as black and white at 200 dpi.  (This scanner software has a drop down menu with defaults set, so I couldn’t scan to 150 dpi exactly as I mentioned in the previous post.)  I scanned the whole page and then saved it.

Next I opened up the scanned painting in Photoshop to do a little touchup.  I am going to adjust the Levels in my design, which basically makes the blacks blacker and the whites whiter.  It will help smooth out anywhere where the paint was uneven or lighter and get rid of a few smudges on the paper.  In Photoshop I choose the Image menu, then Adjustments, then Levels.  You don’t have to do this in Photoshop.  There are a number of really great (and somewhat more affordable) graphics programs out there that have tools that do the same things.  The tools are sometimes labeled slightly differently, but if you are willing to experiment, you can usually find a tool to do what you need.  (Photoshop is 100% worth the price, but I get that not everyone […]

2016-03-16T09:45:41+00:00Everything Else|Comments Off on Digital Design Tutorial: Faux Batik Part Two