Friday, May 25, 2018

Winter in May

This week's theme was "Elegant Holiday", and the description clarified that it was to be for patterns you could imagine decorating a winter party. Say, on napkins or a throw pillow. Also, we were given a set of colors to use - two shades of burgundy and a grey (plus we were allowed to use black and white). There was quite a bit of complaining about these colors - it's a hard set to use. There's not a lot of contrast between the two burgundies, nor between the darker one and black.

I latched on to the "winter" part of things and made a design based on the "Three Friends of Winter" - pine, plum, and bamboo, so named because they don't wither in cold.

Sho Chiku Bai (Three Friends of Winter)

I'm really proud of how this came out - didn't have much effect on the contest though, as I still came in my usual 2/3 of the way down the list. My favorite was this floral.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Two designs

First up - the "cycling" challenge. Inspired by my older son recently getting his first bike, I did a design based on taking your first bike ride, with wobbly lines in the background.

first ever bike ride

Then, the theme was "Marrakesh." I mashed together a few different things - the Majorelle Gardens, the famous picturesque cones of spices, and the way Marrakesh is written in Tifinagh script.

Rhapsody in Majorelle Blue

Both of these did quite poorly in their contests. Oh well! My favorites were the bicycle chain chevron and the tile-inspired stars.

Monday, May 7, 2018

(No longer) endangered species

For this week's challenge theme of "endangered species," I didn't want to depress myself too much, so I chose a species that WAS endangered but has since been removed from the list: the American crocodile.

American Alligator

This came in the bottom 25% of entries, with 25 votes. My favorite was the jungle design by Christine Witte, but I love all of her stuff.

Saturday, April 28, 2018


This week's contest was for "geology." I knew lots of people would be doing designs with crystals and/or gems, so I stayed away from that area. They've had an "earth science" contest before, in which I did soil formation. (Wow how times have changed! Back in 2012 there were only 160 entries in this whole it's rare for them to be below 500)

I love cross-section diagrams so I did a bunch of those - like what you'd see in a text book showing different types of volcanoes, faults, erosion, and other random geological features.

geological diagrams

This actually did fairly well - in the top 200! My favorite was this nice assortment of pebbles.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


This week's theme was the extremely broad "gardening." I based mine around beneficial insects, specifically bees and ladybugs. I populated the rest of the design with stylized flowers that are supposed to attract one or the other: asters, butterfly bush, fennel, lantana, sunflowers, sweet alyssum, alstroemeria, butterfly weed, chives, cosmos, marigolds, and statice.

Good Friends For Your Garden

I actually made it well into the top half of the contest, which is pretty good considering how heavily tilted the entries were toward florals. I really liked this other design inspired by flowers for bees, these veggies, the little potted plants, and the mossy one.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

What is a "Modern Farmhouse" anyway

The theme this week was "Modern Farmhouse" - as in, the popular design style, most prominently seen on the HGTV show "Fixer Upper." Kind of a hard concept to put in a fabric design, as it's more about textures (barn wood, tile, sheet metal, etc). I browsed around Pinterest, where there are a whole bunch of "Modern Farmhouse Paint Colors" with names like "Intelligent Gray." So I made up my own array of tasteful neutrals, but with unpleasant and ridiculous names.

I swear they all look alike to me, honey...

At first I was afraid I would run out of names, but once I started I just kept coming up with more and more.

THEN, after I entered it in the contest, it got disqualified for not being "on topic!" Ha! Well, I emailed them right back, explained my perspective, and got it re-instated. Not that it mattered because it still only ended up in the bottom quarter of entries.

My favorite design was this one, and the one I thought best fit the theme was this one.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fuel for grilling

This week's theme was "summer cookout." I tried to compose a plaid out of a few of the different types of fuel you can use for grills - propane tanks, charcoal briquettes, and wood pellets.

gimme fuel, gimme fire...

This did extremely poorly in the contest! Can't win em all. My favorite was this one, which made it into the top ten.