Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chinese Paper Cutting!

The challenge this week at Spoonflower was designed to help celebrate the Chinese New Year! Designers were asked to submit patterns styled 'like a traditional Chinese paper cutting, using red and white only.'  
#1 'terrarium' sketchbook page
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs
#2 'tea tray' sketchbook page
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs
Traditionally a paper cutting is used for decoration during important celebrations, it can also bring good luck, prosperity, and good health in the new year. 
Here is the process I used to come up with this design! 

My approach to this design was to come up with images that could naturally be framed by some kind of container like a fish bowl or something so the images could be used in a pattern or could stand alone for other projects. I started with online research which lead me to a few ideas and then concept sketches.  

#1. Terrarium - My sketchbook page of a terrarium or group of terrariums using bottles, jars, and various other containers. I thought the floral and plant stems would add a soft, organic feel to the project. I also intended to add other interesting features like mushrooms, bugs and possibly a gnome as another design element.

#2. A tea tray with flowers… I thought adding a series of trays would be a natural way of having boarders that could be intricate or simple to cut. Elements such as a vase with flowers could add an organic element, and include a tea pot, tea cup, tea, sugar cubes, lemon and a honey pot. Other organic or geometric elements could be added as well to the tea pots and cups.

The first concept seemed like it would work well for a fabric pattern, so I decided on the terrarium idea. I started drawing with black marker on copy paper then folded the paper in half and cut away. When the design was all cut out I opened the paper carefully and it produced a mirror image. (I removed the cut pieces so the negative space could be used as well). 

Stage 1 - folded design being cut
paper cut terrarium
stage 2 - still cutting..
'paper cut' lily of the valley + leafy plant
In traditional paper cutting the whole design would be cut out of one piece of paper, but for my purposes my design only had to look that way in the finished pattern. I did hand cut all of the pieces that were necessary for the pattern then I scanned them in to photoshop. 

When I had a pattern that was suitable I added the organic elements to the containers. Some of the jars left odd spaces so I added my birds and some flowers, the cut squares were the final element. When coming up with a pattern I tend to place large elements, then medium and save the small for last. With the pattern complete I converted my black and white composition to red and white. Fin!

positive + negative

Previews are shown at the fat quarter fabric size (21" x 18"). Voting begins today January 30th, 2014, and continues until February 6th, 2014! 
Please Vote!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Great Barrier Reef

The challenge of the week was designed to honor Australia Day on January 26th. Designers were asked to produce a pattern based on the hundreds of species of animals, plants, and coral that make the reef their home.
Our family was traveling this weekend, so I approached this assignment a little differently. While waiting at airports and during any downtime, I pulled out my iPad. Almost all of this project was done with my finger and sometimes a stylus on my iPad using the Adobe Ideas App, this app allowed me to draw and edit my drawings in a multi layer program and then send them to my home computer where I applied the color and arranged the images when I got home. 
I wanted to keep the color choices simple because the drawings had a reasonable amount of detail. (The turtle is my favorite!)
'The Reef'
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs
Previews: fat quarter fabric size (21" x 18"). Voting starts later today and goes through early Thursday, January 30th 2014. Please Vote!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Magic Show with 'Amazing Larry the kid Magician!'

This week's challenge… Designers were to create designs that depict scenes from a magic show.
This simple design was just drawn with marker and scanned into photoshop where I arranged the elements and colored them! The concept was to make this feel like a hand drawn poster made by 'Larry' himself!
'Amazing Larry' the kid Magician!
©2014 Patty Rybolt Designs

Previews shown as a fat quarter (21" x 18"). Voting starts on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 and continues to Thursday, January 23rd, 2014. Please Vote!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

'Love Garden' Cheater Quilt

these colors + white
The challenge of the week... Design a cheater quilt with a spring floral theme using the restricted palette below and white. Cheater quilt blocks feature fabric designed and printed to look like patchwork or applique so that you can skip the piecework and go straight for quilting.
I started this challenge with developing a focal point design and then designed coordinate patterns using elements and icons from the original design.  I drew tons of flowers and birds with a paintbrush and india ink, then drew a ton more with a black marker. I scanned the images and arranged them into a pattern that worked for me in photoshop and played with the colors required for the challenge. (Also in Photoshop). 
'Love Garden' Peacock Floral…
'love garden' peacock floral
 Once I had the focal point design I moved on to design coordinating patterns to use in my cheater quilt design. I wanted to design a few small print designs… dots, small florals (ditsy prints), and a stripe to use with my peacock design as well as incorporating solids to keep the overall design feeling modern.
daisy dot (orange)

'love garden' stripe #3
'love garden' swoop

queen anne's lace

ditsy daisy dot (puce)
When the print and coordinates were finished I moved on to the quilt block design itself. I drew a square and marked the center and measured an inch above, below and side to side. Took a plate from my kitchen and drew a curve. Then I scanned the curve into photoshop. I copied and pasted the curves until I had a design that I liked.
When the square was done I opened a new file in Photoshop to be 1/4 of the fat quarter size (9"x 10.5"). I copied the block and stretched the square to the new block size which would make my finished design have a large oval when duplicated. (Four blocks appear in a fat quarter, 16 squares appear in a yard of fabric.)
I copied and pasted the fabric patterns into the block shapes and moved them around until I liked the look. I used some solids here and there as well.
The finished design…
'love garden' - cheater floral quilt block ©2013 Patty Rybolt Designs
Design previews were presented as a fat quarter(21" x 18"). Deadline for entry was January 7th, 2014, voting is now through January 16th 2014! Please Vote!

Monday, January 6, 2014


This last week's designer challenge... use hand-lettering to write a New Year's resolution. Design elements were allowed, but the design must have text that has a hand-lettered appearance, and describes a resolution.
This challenge started with some soul searching. I tried to draw resolutions that were positive and hopeful. I drew about 30 resolutions with my iPad and drew tons of organic design elements… birds, trees, leaves and branches with my trusty black markers and colored them in photoshop. Textures were added to some of the elements for interest. I uses burlap that I scanned and posterized into black and white then changed the colors to accommodate my palette.
I picked 9 resolutions and placed them on my page then added the design elements. I chose to limit the color palette to 5 colors to connect the messages and graphics. When the layout was almost complete I thought the pattern needed one more unifying element and a new color to pop so I added the hearts. And there you have it!

Happy New Year!!
'My Resolutions!' ©2013 Patty Rybolt Designs
Previews were shown at the fat quarter fabric size (21" x 18"). Voting started on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014, and continues through Thursday morning January 9th, 2014. Please Vote!!