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Saturday, 9 July 2016

It's a Dotty, Dotty World

It's a Dotty World fabric design by eSheep Designs
The beginning of my
dotty fabric adventure...
If you've noticed the use of ribbon in my projects over the past year or so, you may also have noticed that virtually all of them have featured dots. Turns out that the humble little circular form is quite a popular choice in fabrics and other surface designs.

I think most people would agree that a dot pattern is the ultimate in simplicity. Often, all it consists of is a series of same size dots repeated on a plain background. So that begs the question of why is it so appealing?

I don't presume to have the absolute answer, but do understand that simple pattern choices like dots (or "polka" dots) often provide a more interesting contrast against the elaborate fabrics that we may be sewing or quilting with, as opposed to plain solids. Or, in the case where something is meant to be muted or subdued, the addition of dots can liven up without being overpowering.

Anyway, this is a rather long-winded introduction to a subset of designs in a fabric collection of mine called Psychedelia... inspired by the 1960s, of course!

This past New Year's Day — holy moly, it's hard to believe that 2016 is already more than half over (how are those resolutions coming??) — I decided that I wanted to create some fabrics featuring dots. If the concept is not too "been there, done that" for big name fabric designers, then why not me?

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Once again using Paint Shop Pro, I started by creating the five dots that you see stacked up at the top of this post. The concept is simple, just a gradual change in size from one dot to the next, in a predetermined selection of colours (black, white, yellow, gray) that I wanted to work with.

In addition to that original stack, I made a couple of small changes to have it be "double ended" and arrived at this fabric...

It's a Double Dotty World (Yelegance) fabric by eSheep Designs
This one is called It's a Double Dotty World...

Apart from making the overall pattern larger or smaller, there really isn't a whole lot more that you can do with dots. (Or so I assumed; more on that later.) Two options came to mind: adding dimension to the dots and changing the colour scheme.

It's a 3D Dotty World fabric by eSheep Designs
It's a 3D Dotty World in blue...

The above design is based on the original five dots, which have been colourized with a gradient to give it dimension.

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I like the blue, but this combination of browns — which I have dubbed "mochaccino" — has turned out to be one of my favourites.

It's a 3D Dotty World in mochaccino...

This colour combination — which I really like — is called "ice". (I have actually created an entire collection of designs around these shades.)

It's a Bubbly Dotty World fabric by eSheep Designs
It's a Bubbly Dotty World in ice...

Here is a representation in a combo I've named "eggplant"...

It's a Dotty World in eggplant...

This family of dots is in a combo called "bluesia" (my merging of fuchsia and blue!)...

It's a Double Dotty World in bluesia...

And finally, here is the dotty world in "springtime"...

It's a Dotty World fabric by eSheep Designs
It's a Dotty World in springtime...

Remember when I said that there's not a whole lot you can do with dots?

Little did I realize at first that — with a bit of manipulation — dots can be so much more. Here is an example in a collection called Flower Power.

Snow Flower fabric by eSheep Designs
Snow Flowers in black...

The above was created using the same five dots. With the help of some PSP magic, they have become stylized snowflakes, or snow flowers as I'm choosing to call them. Here is an actual cotton spandex jersey piece in bluesia; I believe this is the only design from these two 1960s inspired collections that has been sampled (and therefore available for sale).

Snowflower fabric by eSheep Designs
Sample swatch of Snow Flowers in bluesia...
the cotton spandex jersey is perfect for cleaning my sunglasses!

Stay tuned for a future post about other designs that morphed from my original five dots.

What do you think? Am I inspiring any of you to create your own fabric designs?

1 comment:

  1. Amazing what a few dots morphs into under your hand. Yes, almost every time I come to your blog I am inspired to start creating. Gotta make time to take the first step.


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