Saturday, October 3, 2015


Pickles! During my latest pregnancy (this is a scheduled post, so I was still pregnant when I was typing it) I had an ongoing craving for pickles - in particular, miniature gherkin-sized dill pickles. This wasn't all that helpful for coming up with a design, however. I eventually went with just arranging pickles in a herringbone pattern.

Herringbone Pickles

The colors are from here:

Color by COLOURlovers

The background texture uses the "star" lines previously seen here. I'm really happy with how this one came out - the layout is clear but it still has textural interest. The pickles are abstract enough that it's not just a novelty print. But, the majority of voters didn't share my opinion and it only got 14 votes. My favorite entry was this one that shows cucumbers, pre-pickling, along with their blossoms.

Friday, October 2, 2015


For the woodshop theme, I went with one of my strongest woodworking memories. When I was pretty young, probably no more than eight, my dad painted a block of wood pink and let me hammer as many nails into it as I wanted. I can remember sitting at the picnic table on our patio out back, my mom probably watching me out the kitchen window, hammering to my heart's content.

Hammering practice

I used the same colors as the ballerina plumbers, as it ties into the same "girlish tomboy" phase.

This one actually just squeaked out of the bottom quarter of entries. My favorite was the lathed spindles.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Flower border print for mom

For the contest right before Mother's Day, the challenge was to make a floral border print, the idea being you could sew such a print into a skirt to give to your mother.

I wanted to use some of my mom's favorite flowers: jasmine, cherry blossoms, honeysuckle, and orange blossoms. (Which are also some of mine, seemingly not very coincidentally!) But I wanted to go for a more graphic rather than ornate feel, so I kept it to just navy and white.

Jasmine, cherry, honeysuckle, orange

Since all the flowers except honeysuckle are five-lobed, I used a tessellation of pentagons as the basis for the layout of the flowers. The background is a simple basketweave, previously seen here.

 Like so many of my designs, this one was in the bottom quartile of votes. The entry I'd be most likely to wear as a skirt myself featured thistles and yarrow. The one I liked best based on visual appeal, without regard to wearing, was this super-sweet and cute one.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


For the contest theme "bees," I worked on Napoleanic imperial bees. and tried to go for a semi-gold-embroidered look.

Golden imperial bees

This ended up in the bottom quarter of entries. My favorite was the second-place entry.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Creativebug fabric design

This contest was a little odd - it was only open to people who enrolled in a fabric design class in Creativebug. But, you could do it with a 14-day free trial, so I figured what the heck (I only ended up having time to watch two of the five lessons). There were no other restrictions than that. We were just supposed to apply whatever we'd felt we'd learned from that and make a design (so you couldn't use a design you had created already).  I decided to combine two things I'd seen on the internet lately that had caught my eye.

First, I really liked the pattern of the windows on this architectural model, so I started with that. Then, I read a post about the discovery of some ancient "treasure" in Kingsmead, and was struck by the list of beads made of gold, amber, jet, and shale. which inspired me to create this color palette:

Color by COLOURlovers

So, it all came together like this:

Beads, buttons, or windows

This design didn't have much of an impact and came in the bottom quarter of designs. Other than the bird-based design that won, I also liked the strawberries.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Dotted islands

For the contest theme "islands," I created very simple "desert islands" in a rough polka dot:

Tropical Island Polka Dots

The colors are the same as from the palette-restricted "sailing" theme. I used some details to try to expand the apparent number of colors: the sand is white speckles on yellow, the water is dark blue crosshatching on light blue, the palm leaves are yellow lines on blue to give a green impression, and the palm trunks are red lines on blue to give a purplish-brown impression. I feel it would work rather well as a Hawaiian-style shirt.

My favorite was this rather glowy overhead map. Mine didn't crack the top half of entries.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


The theme of this contest entry was "flying machines." I went for quadcopters.


I got the colors from here (with the addition of black):

Color by COLOURlovers

This made it just into the top two-thirds of entries. My favorite entry featured lots of little planes sensing each other with radar. The majority of entries featured biplanes or hot air balloons, but there were actually a few others featuring drones.