For the Love of Pattern

design

July Product of the Month

Featured this MonthAbby Leigh EckerComment

This month we are featuring For the Love of Pattern handmade and hand screen-printed pillows. The designs on these pillows are inspired by the charming ironwork in Savannah, GA.

For the Love of Pattern Handmade Screen-Printed Pillows

These handmade pillows have our own original textile designs screen-printed on cotton or cotton/linen blends. They have a coordinating solid cotton/linen backing and an invisible zipper at the bottom so they can easily be unzipped for cleaning. The pillows are 16" by 16" and the pillow forms are included with purchase. These are great gifts and because the designs are inspired by Savannah ironwork they would also be perfect to bring a little southern charm into your home. 

For the Love of Pattern pillows sell regularly for $42.00 and are on sale this month for $36.00

The product of the month is only available in our etsy store in the Featured this Month Section and only applies when you purchase through etsy. This deal is not available where other For the Love of Pattern items are sold or at local art markets. 

Enjoy and Happy Wednesday!

Studio Update: Global Talent Search

Studio UpdatesAbby Leigh Ecker2 Comments

Today I wanted to share a top secret project that I've been working on. Ok well, it's not that top secret but it's for a competition so I cannot share the finished piece yet. I'll only be sharing a snippet of my work and inspiration used for the project. I'm participating in Lilla Rogers' Global Talent Search this year. I found out about the competition through social media and thought it would be something fun to get my creative juices flowing and end the summer with. There is something exciting about being part of a collective project and being able to connect with other artists through social media. I decided from the start, that although it would be awesome to be selected to move to round 2 & 3, no matter what I would still have fun and just be happy to be a part of this global talent search. 

The first assignment was to create an individual piece of wall art with the theme of little terrariums. It was a fun project to work on and luckily I have a nice selection of terrarium style plants around the house that I used for research and inspiration. The project was left open to our choice of style, media and interpretation of the theme. We were able to choose from children or adults as a demographic and had to include at least one word in the piece. I decided to use the combination of watercolor paint and hand embroidery as my media for this project while sticking with my detail orientated style of line drawing. It was easy for me to choose a saying instead of just one word. I've always felt that the little things in life make the extra difference to brighten your day so I chose the phrase, "delight in the little things". I think the saying goes well with the theme of little terrariums, how they are fun to create and compliment the spaces they adorn. 

Detail view of "Delight in the Little Things" watercolor & hand embroidery by Abby Leigh Johnson of For the Love of Pattern

Detail view of "Delight in the Little Things" watercolor & hand embroidery by Abby Leigh Johnson of For the Love of Pattern

I'm excited to see all the work that was submitted once the round 1 gallery is published and I'll also be sharing my entire work of art once it's published on the Lilla Rogers site. Good luck to everyone that is participating!

Enjoy & Happy Monday!

Everyday Pattern: Pop of Color

Everyday PatternAbby Leigh Ecker2 Comments
"Pop of Color"  Images (left to right, starting at top left): "Live in Color" by  Claire Teschel Konishi , "San Miguel de Allende" by Teresa Branda, "Skimmer Birds" by  Abby Zweifel , "Triple Tree" by  Elizabeth Kaiser , and "Boardwalk" by  Sarah Watson .

"Pop of Color"

Images (left to right, starting at top left): "Live in Color" by Claire Teschel Konishi, "San Miguel de Allende" by Teresa Branda, "Skimmer Birds" by Abby Zweifel, "Triple Tree" by Elizabeth Kaiser, and "Boardwalk" by Sarah Watson.

I'm happy to announce, I've had an overwhelming response for the first official Everyday Pattern post! I want to thank everyone that has submitted photographs and let you know if your photo isn't posted here it will be in a future post. Since I've had such a great response I was able to make more selective compositions with common themes and have fun with it. It's been great seeing the diversity of photographs that I've received about everyday pattern from different people. I think this will end of being a subject that I will be able to blog about more frequently than once a month which is really exciting. I hope the response to this grows and that I continue to get submissions. Please share this with anyone that you think would be interested in this topic and submitting a photograph. Refer back to the introduction post about this topic for the guidelines. Thanks again and enjoy!

Happy Monday! I welcome your comments and feedback.

Everyday Pattern: Introduction

Everyday PatternAbby Leigh EckerComment
Everyday Pattern - Beach at Cape Cod

Everyday Pattern - Beach at Cape Cod

This is a blog post I've been thinking about since the very beginning stages of For the Love of Pattern. Once a month, I'd like to feature photographs of pattern that can be found in everyday life. I will feature some of my own photographs but ideally I would like this to be a collaboration. Email me photographs that inspire you, photographs that show me what you think pattern is all about. There are no rules except you must submit quality images and only 1 - 2 images by the first Friday of each month.

Please email images to abby@loveofpattern.com with the subject line: Everyday Pattern Blog. Give your image a title and don't forget to include your name. If you send me your website, blog or social media account I'll link it to your name in the post.

Looking forward to seeing your everyday patterns!

Color Studies

ColorAbby Leigh EckerComment

Color is my favorite part when it comes to design. Color is just as important as the design. It brings the design to life and controls the mood. Throughout the design process, I make sure to allow time to work on color studies along the way. Then when the designs are set in black and white it's easy to start adding in color and figuring out which color palettes work best for each design. I keep a color file in my studio where I collect images from magazines, paint chips, my own photographs, drawings and personal color studies. I also keep a color palette board on my Pinterest page as an easy way to collect images that inspire me. Both of these types of files I can go back to frequently to aid in creating color schemes. I use Pinterest as a quick guide and rely more on my personal colors studies and explorations for more in depth color choices. 

Below are some of my personal color studies with watercolor & gouache paint. These are fun quick studies, collections and color recipes. I always make sure I write down the color recipe, which makes it easy to recreate if necessary. This comes in handy when mixing your own pigments for screen printing and I find the more I explore and experiment with color the better I am at mixing colors. 

More online resources for color: Blogs & helpful palette builders.

Adobe Kuler

Paletton

Design Seeds

Play Crafts Palette Builder

Color Collective 

How do you create your own color palettes? 


Screen Printing: Savannah Ironwork Collection

Studio UpdatesAbby Leigh Ecker4 Comments

This week's blog post is a quick studio update that will be short & sweet, focusing on visuals. I want to share my progress with my first textile collection, the Savannah ironwork series. I have four patterns ready in repeats and am working on a few more. I've been screen-printing in the studio to test these patterns out and make sure they are set for yardage. It's always extremely exciting and rewarding to be able to see the design on fabric instantly. Below are a few images of my progress, enjoy and happy Monday!

A limited collection of tea towels, pillows, aprons, coin purses & cosmetic bags will be available with these hand printed fabrics soon!

Do you have a favorite design? Please comment and let us know!

Interview with Sarah Watson

Meet the ArtistAbby Leigh Ecker1 Comment

Sarah Watson is an American illustrator living in Brazil, trained in textile design and repeat pattern. She studied Fibers at SCAD and is currently designing for Cloud 9 Fabrics, an all organic company. In the past she's worked with Art Gallery Fabrics and she's even illustrated two books. Pretty cool stuff! She just exhibited at Surtex for the first time this year, which I think is a pretty amazing accomplishment. 

Sarah Watson Illustration

Today I'd like to share a little more about Sarah, her design inspirations and a short interview that she kindly made time for in her busy schedule.

What is your earliest influence that you can recall, which inspired you to go into a creative field?

SW: The story that I'm usually told is that my grandmother (my Mom's mother that is), who passed away before I got to know her very well, noticed some sort of creative talent in me and pushed my parents to enroll me in art lessons. It all sort of started from there and I've been having fun in the field ever since.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs? Do you find you have a common theme you return to or is it different for every collection?

SW: My inspiration really comes from pen and paper. Everything I do starts with a drawing and that style even varies quite a bit depending on whether I'm using pen and ink, watercolor or pencil. Mostly the themes stick to nature, but there's a lot of imagination involved.

What type of pattern do you enjoy the most?

SW: Because I was trained in textile design, I really love intricate, complex patterns. The actual repeat layout of the pattern is just as important to me as the illustration style, color or subject matter. There are a lot of things that go into making a pattern, lots of decisions, and they all have to work well together.

Do you have anything that helps motivate you while working?

SW: Well, because my work isn't always just being creative and there's a lot of business work too, I tend to have a broad variety of external distractions. Because I live overseas, I try to listen to international or stateside news once a week or so, to keep in touch. If I'm doing something tedious, I love to get a good pile of work, sit down with a cup of coffee and watch TV while I work. We live in an apartment with a pool, though, too, so if I can gather enough work to sit quietly for a large span of time, I love to sit at the pool and work. And of course, no music or anything then, because there are waves crashing in the background. It's all the music I need.

Who do you look up to, someone you most admire or are influenced by?

SW: Historically speaking, there are a few people I'm drawn to, William Morris is great. He was such a jack of all trades. As far as modern designers go, right now I'm really loving everything that Carolyn Friedlander is doing. She's slowing things down quite a bit, and with the pace that design happens these days, with products hitting shelves, and then moving to the sale rack within a month, I think that's really important. I think we could all use a little more handmade.

What do you think makes a strong textile design?

SW: Well, this kind of goes back to my answer of what pattern I enjoy most. To me, a strong textile design has a few important elements: color, subject, repeat layout and style.  Those design elements get moved around, depending on what the desired outcome is. For retail, I think color drives nearly everything. 

Besides textile design, are you working on anything else?

SW: I am! But I can't tell you about it yet! How's that for suspense? 

What's your favorite thing to make when not designing?

SW: I do like to cook. Living overseas, I get homesick for certain things every now and then, so I'm getting better and better at cooking. As far as hobbies, I love gardening, anything outdoors and exercise. 

Explain your vision behind Sarah Watson Illustration, what things are most important you you as a designer?

SW: When I quit my day job, I was leaving it because I felt like all my time was spent at work. I love to work, but there are other important things out there, life, family, giving back. I needed to figure out how I could make my schedule work so that all of those things could be incorporated into my day-to-day. A big part of my business plan is giving back. Because I've been very lucky to have supportive parents, and was born into a loving family, I feel like everyone should have the same opportunities. I allot 12 days a year to volunteering, and 5% of my profits go to social or environmental organizations. Design is very important to me, but when I sit back and look at the grand spectrum, what I'd really love to be known for is being a good person.

Do you have any advice for new designers out there?

SW: Hmm, I still consider myself a pretty new designer! But I think the best advice I have would to be work hard. It takes quite a while to make a profitable business, in any realm, and there is a lot of work involved. Don't take shortcuts or the easy way out, you're going to have to work very, very hard in the beginning. But if you really love what you're doing, it'll start to click, and it'll get easier and easier. 

Is there anything new and exciting that you would like to share?

SW: Well, with the way this industry works, I don't have too much fun to share right now, it's all top secret. I have a new fabric line coming out this month, which is very exciting. And I'm also pregnant, so I guess that's pretty important too!  

Finish this sentence - When you're not in your studio we can find you...

SW: Trying to convince my husband to take the day off work, and go to the beach! 

Make sure you check out Sarah's latest collection, Arcadia! My personal favorites from this collection are Herb Garden & Sun Spot and Bee. I love the line quality in these designs and the tiny little details. I can't wait to see what's next from Sarah and to find out all of the top secret projects that she is working on. I think it's safe to say that we will be seeing a lot of exciting things from Sarah in the near future. 

All photos were provided by Sarah Watson.

Enjoy your week and happy Monday! As always I welcome comments and feedback.

Using Every Last Scrap

Studio ProjectsAbby Leigh EckerComment

I always find that I have this reoccurring problem. I save every last scrap of fabric and I rarely use them. I just seem to be holding on to these scraps thinking one day I'll find a use for them. I decided to take some time out of my day to finally make something with these scraps that I've been saving. Today I want to share the fun project that I've started to use up all of my fabric scraps. I'm making handmade cards. 

The finished product

The finished product

I collected the following supplies from my studio: fabric scraps, card stock paper, envelopes, and thread. I like to use my sewing machine for projects like this because it's quicker but hand sewing works just as well. 

It's a good idea to first determine the envelope size that you want to use so you can cut the card stock paper to size. Paper Source is a great resources for envelopes and they have lots of beautiful colors to choose from. I decided to purchase A2 envelopes so that I could simply cut a piece of card stock paper in half to make two cards and baby envelopes because I love miniature cards.

Once I chose my envelopes, I determined how to cut my paper and cut several cards to size with a paper trimmer. I cut the paper cards slightly smaller than the envelopes so that they are able to fit inside the envelopes without tearing them. I scored and folded the cards in half with a bone folder. At this point everything is prepared for card making and I was ready to move to the next step. To go along with my theme and business name, For the Love of Pattern, I decided to start with cutting heart shapes to decorate my cards. I made paper heart stencils and started cutting hearts out of all my different fabric scraps. 

After I had a stack of fabric hearts cut, I matched them with the different papers that I had prepared. Then I placed the heart where I wanted it to stay on the front of the card and sewed it around the edge. I did not use a pin, as this will put a permanent mark on the paper. I found that the fabric stays in place just fine so there was no need for a pin, but you could use archival double sided tape to keep the fabric in place if necessary. 

the process of making homemade cards

the process of making homemade cards

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy project. It's a fun way to use up those fabric scraps you've been saving and a way to be as creative as you'd like to be with matching different paper colors, envelope colors/styles and fabric shapes to decorate the cards.

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul."