My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design


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Sunflower fabric print for fall

Sunflower fabric print for fallhttps://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/eileenmckenna
I used a favorite sunflower watercolor painting of mine and turned it into a fabric print design. The Watercolor Sunflowers fabric is available for sale on Spoonflower.com. I created the fabric design by scanning my painting and working in Photoshop. In Photoshop I create the “repeat” for the pattern – the small square or rectangle that repeats and lines up perfectly for a seamless design.

I create an artboard larger than my intended repeat size and use guides to mark the repeat. Elements can overlap the guides, but anything that goes over gets cut off. So for a sunflower that gets cut off on the top, the rest of it must exist at the bottom to complete the sunflower. Like this:
How fabric print repeats work | Eileen McKenna #surfacedesign
When I’m finished laying out the elements, I crop the image at the guidelines to create my repeat.
Here is the final repeat:
Watercolor Sunflowers fabric print design by Eileen McKenna

When it is repeated it looks like this:
Watercolor Sunflower Fabric Print Design by Eileen McKenna

For step by step instructions on turning your artwork into a repeating design, read this post:
How to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop. For fabric prints, gift wrap, wallpaper and more.

Want a dose of creative inspiration? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here. Learn more about the newsletter here.

Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!
The Blue Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints

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A Creative Collaboration {A Drawstring Bag}

Free Sewing Pattern for a Delux Drawstring Bag with Pockets. Swimmer pattern, Perfect for the pool!
Since starting to design fabric prints, I’ve lamented that I can’t sew. A few months ago I decided to look for someone who can. The first person I found when I googled “sewing blog” was Mary Sigler-Earle of thedailysew.com. Mary was the second person I reached out to. I gave her the link to all the fabrics that I’ve designed and simply stated,

“I’d like to offer you free fabric, from one of my own fabric designs. My motivation? Seeing them turned into something beautiful! I can’t sew at all, but love designing fabric prints! And a mention on your blog would be awesome! I’d in turn post on my blog.”

I was thrilled when Mary said yes. She didn’t hesitate in picking the “Swimming Laps” design, but as she writes in her post she did hesitate in deciding on a sewing project, eventually picking a drawstring bag because of something I wrote in a post. You can download the drawstring bag pattern here.

It’s amazing when you meet the nicest people – all from a google search! Mary put a lot of work into designing and sewing the bag, and creating the pattern and thorough instructions with photos to go with it! My younger son said to me, “Do you get the bag?” I told him no, it wasn’t about getting the bag, but seeing it turned into something. But guess what? Mary wrote that she wanted to send me the bag.

Of course I was thrilled, look how cute it is! I wrote to Mary and said that I really got the better end of this collaboration! She put so much time into it. How could I ever thank her? How about some more fabric?

Download the FREE drawstring bag pattern here.
Order my fabrics on Spoonflower here.


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Free Pattern: Sew a Super Deluxe Drawstring Backpack!

Free Pattern: Sew a Super Deluxe Drawstring Backpack
Mary Earle-Sigler of the Daily Sew, 
has created a drawstring bag “that you could sew with little experience, with ease, that could be sewn in almost any type of fabric and possibly some you already own. A carry-all for any size, any gender, and could be made for any personality or in any style with the choice of fabric (did someone say suede?) Plus there’s plenty of surface space for embellishing, painting, patching or bedazzling.” Mary says, “You can sew this bag. It isn’t difficult and I provide you with very detailed, step by step instructions with a lot of photographs.”

Visit thedailysew.com to download your Super Deluxe Drawstring Bag pattern and instructions for Free! I couldn’t be happier that Mary chose my “Swimming Laps” fabric for the bag! But not just any bag! A drawstring bag with a pocket so your keys don’t get lost in the bottom of the bag and another pocket for your phone. A bag with enough room to carry your stuff plus your water bottle, and still, have space for more!”


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Goggles! Another pool themed fabric

Pool themed fabric designs - Swimming Laps, Pool Tiles, Goggles. Fabrics for all the swimmers!
Hot off the Spoonflower press! My “Goggles” fabric has arrived. So excited for the addition to my pool themed fabrics. The “Goggles” design joins “Swimming Laps” and “Pool Tiles.”

Where are all the quilters? These fabrics would be great for a quilt for a swimmer. You can order them on Spoonflower, just click here to visit my Spoonflower shop.

I’m waiting patiently for the swatch of the newest addition to my beach fabric family! Stay tuned. 😀


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Designing a Summer Print Pattern

Goggles print pattern
I challenged myself to design one fabric print a month this year. Since June is winding down, it was time to get to it. When I first started designing patterns I would sit with a blank page and start drawing. Since then I’ve changed my approach. Now when I’m designing, I go to my sketchbook and paintings and look for artwork I’ve already created that would work well as a repeating pattern.

I’m in a summer frame of mind, so I selected this painting of goggles. Click here to read the details of the steps I take to create a pattern in Photoshop.
Watercolor goggles

I tried designing a pattern with the goggles before, but didn’t have success. This time, I had a new vision. I isolated the goggles, leaving only a little of the blue background and adjusted the colors to create the goggles in every color of the rainbow. I struggled a bit with how to get the design to repeat perfectly when the goggles were in a diagonal line. Sometimes I make things harder than they need to be. So, I revised the design to be a more organic placement and in doing so made it easier to create the repeat. I added a blue background color. I’m excited for the fabric swatch of this design to arrive!

So far my “Swimming Laps” design is my most popular one.
Swimming Laps fabric print. Swim team, swimmers https://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/6301733-swiming-laps-by-eileenmckenna

I recently reworked my Valentine squares to become a new “Pool Tile” design. The swatch of this design should be arriving any day.
Watercolor pool tiles fabric print design.
Valentine’s Day Squares:

See all of my fabric print designs in my Spoonflower shop.


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Fabric Design

Fabric designs by Eileen McKenna. Available for purchase at https://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/eileenmckennaI enjoy designing fabric prints and love getting an email from Spoonflower that says someone ordered one. I’m excited to design some new fabrics with summer as inspiration. I have a few collaborations in the works, and am looking forward to seeing some of these fabrics put to use. If you sew, please contact me if you are interested in collaborating.

All fabrics are available for sale at Spoonflower.com.

How to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop. For fabric prints, gift wrap, wallpaper and more.


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Pink Dogwood Flower Fabric Print

Pink dogwood flower print pattern
I used watercolor paintings from my sketchbook to create this pink flower repeating pattern. I’m keeping my goal to design a new pattern every month this year! See my other designs here.

Do you sew? Designing the fabric is where my skills ends! If you create anything with any of my fabrics, let me know. I’d love to feature you on my blog. See all my fabrics in my Spoonflower shop.

How to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop. For fabric prints, gift wrap, wallpaper and more.


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Swimming Laps – a fabric print

Swimming Laps fabric print. Swim team, swimmers https://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/6301733-swiming-laps-by-eileenmckenna

I’ve loved the pool since I was little. I swam on a swim team all year round as soon as I finished lessons, and continued all the way through high school. My mother was from the city and can’t swim well. When the family moved to the beach she decided all her children had to learn to swim. I’ve done the same with my kids. They pursue other things during the school year, but come summer they all swim for the local pool.

Swimming Laps fabric print. Swim team, swimmers https://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/6301733-swiming-laps-by-eileenmckenna

This print pattern was created from swimmers and watercolor areas in my sketchbook, combined and overlapped in Photoshop. I’ve lamented before that I can’t sew, but I’m determined to make something with this fabric – maybe a drawstring bag or headband. I’ve been pinning patterns on my Pinterest board. I just need to find a friend who sews!

Interested in making something with this fabric? Order it from Spoonflower. See my other print designs here.


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Zest for Life Citrus Print Pattern

Citrus print pattern - lemons, limes, oranges. Available as fabric, gift wrap, wallpaper
Recently looking through my sketchbook, I found a page of citrus fruits I painted, and thought it was a great start to a print design. I scanned the page, and played around with the elements in Photoshop, to come up with the above repeating pattern design. I’m loving the bright yellow, orange, and green colors!

Sketchbook page:
Citrus fruit watercolor and ink sketchbook page
My Canson sketchbook is especially great for working in watercolor and ink because of the thick weight pages. And I love that the pages are bright white.

Here is the repeat:

Want to purchase this pattern, or see my other patterns, as fabric, gift wrap or wallpaper? Visit my Spoonflower shop here.

I’m on a mission this year to design a pattern a month! See my past designs here.

Want to learn how to create repeating patterns in Photoshop? Read this post.
How to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop. For fabric prints, gift wrap, wallpaper and more.

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend. I earn a small commission whenever you buy using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!

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A swimming pattern…perhaps

Swimmers in my sketchbook. An idea for a pattern design.

My goal this year is to design a pattern a month. So as the month starts to wind down, I’m thinking about swimmers.

Last month I created an ice cream truck pattern from illustrations in my sketchbook. It’s available for purchase on Spoonflower here.

Ice cream truck print pattern / fabric

Ice Cream truck treats fabric print on a pillow

In January I designed a penguin polar bear pattern. Available here.

polar bear penguin Christmas pattern with Christmas trees, wreaths, and mistletoe

See all my designs in my Spoonflower shop.

Want to learn how to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop? Read:

How to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop. For fabric prints, gift wrap, wallpaper and more.