My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design


2 Comments

A Swimming Quilt – Guest Post by Susan Finlay

Intro. by Eileen McKenna – “I enjoy designing fabric prints but I don’t sew! So, I’m always so interested to see what people make when they purchase one of my fabric designs on Spoonflower. I was so thrilled when Susan Finlay (Wee Susie Stitches) tagged me on Instagram when she posted her swimming quilt. Susan used my Rainbow Goggles and Swimming Laps fabric designs in her quilt. And I was even more excited when she agreed to write a guest post about designing and making her ‘Eat, Sleep, Sew, Repeat’ quilt.”

Eat, Sleep, Sew, Repeat by Wee Susie Stitches

Firstly I would like to say a massive thank you to Eileen for asking me to write this piece about the quilt I made using some of her fabrics.

My daughters’ swim club are always looking for ideas to raise funds. The club wanted to raffle something that the kids would want to win rather than the usual hamper or bottle of whiskey that they have no interest in. I was asked to make a quilt.

I spent time (too much) online looking for suitable fabrics, first I looked for waterproof/resistant that the kids could take poolside, but nothing was suitable. So, I started thinking about the design rather than the fabric first. I saw a quilt that Lucy from charmed by you had made. Seeing Lucy’s quilt inspired me – the mantra of lots of swimmers that they wear on their t-shirts & hoodies is EAT, SLEEP, SWIM, REPEAT. That was going to be the main body of the quilt and designed using club colours of Royal Blue and Yellow. I would add a border of squares to represent the tiles of a swimming pool – the swimmers look at these for hours every week!!

"Eat, Sleep, Sew, Repeat" swimming quilt by Wee Susie Stitches #swimming #quilt

For the border I didn’t want plain fabric, boring, I wanted something special that would appeal to the kids. Back to searching online and I couldn’t find any fabric shops in my area that inspired me but then I found spoonflower and fabric from Eileen and Julia Diane Studios that I thought, yes, I could use them, they were perfect! So, I clicked order and a few weeks later the most beautifully tissue wrapped amazing fabric arrived.

Excited? Yeah. Husband and daughters too were excited! The girls asking the question what are you making for me Mum?? Sorry girls, as usual, this is for someone else!

"Eat, Sleep, Sew, Repeat" swimming quilt by Wee Susie Stitches #swimming #quilt
I started cutting perfect 6 ½ inch squares to create the pool tile effect from this beautiful fabric.

Then began the process of precisely cutting the letters A, E, I, L, M, P, R, S, T, W, or in full ‘EAT, SLEEP, SWIM, REPEAT’ to applique onto the background fabric.

"Eat, Sleep, Sew, Repeat" swimming quilt by Wee Susie Stitches #swimming #quilt
I used my Elna 680 sewing machine to blanket stitch around each letter.

I joined the squares to make border round the main letter panel. Next, I machine quilted the fleece backing with a nice simple straight line to continue the pool tile and lane rope effect. I finished the quilt off with binding.

The MASC quilt was complete.

My girls were excited by with the end result! The Swim Club were excited by the end result. The quilt is now being raffled to raise funds for Musselburgh Amateur Swimming Club. Hopefully it will make one swimmer happy and keep them cosy after a hard training set and ready to Eat, Sleep, Swim, Repeat.
"Eat, Sleep, Sew, Repeat" swimming quilt by Wee Susie Stitches #swimming #quilt

Advertisements


2 Comments

Designing Fabric Print Patterns – the first of 2018!

Pineapple Party fabric print #fabric #pineapples
I’ve been designing fabric prints since 2015. To date I have 28 designs available in my Spoonflower shop. When I approve the swatch of this new “Pineapple Party” print it will be 29!

Eileen McKenna's Spoonflower shop #fabric #prints #design

I first started designing patterns in 2015 with my “pattern a month project,” although I didn’t upload them all to my shop. In 2016 without the deadline of “one a month,” I designed them sporadically. I went back to my “one a month” project in 2017 to motivate myself and uploaded 12 new designs, plus 4 variations of other designs.

Recently I was flipping through my old sketchbooks and found watercolor pineapples, already arranged like a pattern. I grabbed my favorite black gel pen, added some black lines, scanned it, and played with the arrangement in Photoshop to create my repeat. I uploaded the repeat file to Spoonflower and am excitedly waiting for a swatch!

Read this post to learn how to turn art into fabric print patterns.
and
Turn Your Artwork Into A Fabric Print Pattern By Eileen McKenna | doodlewash.com
“Turn Your Artwork Into A Fabric Print Pattern” on doodlewash.com.

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

Have you visited my online shop? Prints of my seascapes are available on watercolor paper or canvas, in many sizes including the new “mini” canvas 11″ x 14″ at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!

This post contains affiliate links to products/brands 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!


4 Comments

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


14 Comments

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.


Leave a comment

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!”


Leave a comment

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. 😀


7 Comments

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.


Leave a comment

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.


4 Comments

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.