How I Progressed Into Pattern Design

I’ve added a new skill to my fabric and creative interests since 2019. For years I’ve been interested in learning how people design those lovely patterns on quilt fabrics. From my high school art classes, I knew about screen printing and carefully inking, moving, and aligning the screen to repeat a pattern, but in this high-tech manufacturing world, how were the repeating patterns designed to print fabrics at fast speeds? 

 Anne LaFollette offered a free introductory class on surface pattern design in the spring of 2019. It introduced the participants to the full course she was offering and I liked the idea of “try it before you buy it.” It was a wonderful introduction class and just what I had been looking for, so I purchased Anne’s class and have had no regrets, especially with lifetime access to the lessons (to which I refer to often). I like the wonderful art community she has created with people who are helpful, sharing, and encouraging. They let us see what they are designing, help members with design questions and explain methods and tricks. 

I’m posting photos of some repeating surface design patterns I have created in the past two years. I printed some on fat quarters of fabric evaluating how the patterns look, the fabric quality, and which companies I like, as I’m planning to offer designs for purchase within the year.

I hope you enjoy the designs, your comments are appreciated. Do you have a pattern you would like to see on fabric?


dots and lacey
Here I tried a geometric repeat of one flower petal then created the dotted fabric to accompany it.
designs to go with purchased fabric
I created the first three designs above and had them printed on fabric to use with the bundle of fabrics I bought.
surface design patterns
The two designs above were fun geometric explorations. I used the slice tool to make the red, blue and gold pattern.
Houses and Bugs Patterns
I started with the houses and leaves then decided bugs lived in the houses, thus the bug designs.
surface pattern designs birds
I began with the bird design, coordinated fabrics with just the leaves and finally wanted bird tracks in a pattern with movement.
optical illusion
I followed a tutorial to create an optical illusion which was fun.
paisley pattern
This paisley pattern was printed on a mug I use almost daily.
Nancy Myers
Nancy Myers
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