February 14, 2015

From sketches to patterns

 Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day
I have started a new Tumblr blog for patterns only with an idea to make 300 patterns in 2015.
To see more, follow http://paisleyfarm.tumblr.com

February 5, 2015

Illustration Friday #1

This is my first Illustration Friday this year. I am getting used to the acrylic paint that I start liking more for its bright colors.


acrylic and pencils illustration

February 1, 2015

February calendar

My February calendar is here and don't forget to celebrate the Valentine day!
February 2015

to download bigger image click here


January 4, 2015

2015 : Introduction

The new 2015 year has just begun and I thought it was appropriate to write an introductory post for my new visitors and followers. 
My name is Sofia, I am a Ukrainian-American living in Las Vegas, Nevada for the last 15 years. 
Before that I lived in Ukraine where I was born and raised. 
I love the two countries very much and the experience of living in both worlds gives me the chance to see a bigger picture. 
My background is a mix of art, science and crafts. 
Having degree in Civil Engineering allows a nerd in me to love lines, details and proportions. 
The creative side of me loves colors, textures and textiles. 
I am a self-taught artist and a quilter.
My inspiration comes from world cultures, artists' sketchbooks, modern art, music, movies and what I can see in the window. 
I am amazed by creativity of the world wide artistic community. 
This blog is my informal portfolio on 
-pattern design


Last year I fell in love with the world of pattern design, which is closely 
related to my all time passion for fabric and everything made with fabric. 
This year I will continue my exploration of the 
endless and exciting possibilities of patterns and I will be blogging 
about it among all my usual topics. 
And of course, I will make more quilts! 






Quilts in 2014 - year review

Sunday sewing

Time to recap my quilting of the 2014. 
Totally I have sewn 7 quilts, 3 of which are big and 4 smaller ones.
It is a mystery to me how some blogger-quilters produce up to 20 quilts a year! 
(I follow a lot of quilting blogs and am amazed by the productivity out there!)
I will share some pictures today here, but all my quilting life is fully recorded and catalogued in Flickr albums.
All my finished quilt on Flickr

2014 quilting recap

Read more after the jump break

December 31, 2014

Happy 2015!

My greetings to you in the New Year!
I made a calendar for January,
fingers crossed it will become monthly thing!:)

January 2015

to download bigger image click here


December 20, 2014

Cookie time : my favorite recipe

It is time of the year for the house to smell like chocolate cookies, hot cocoa and burning fire place!
I have been making these cookies every year for looong time and sharing my secret recipe now on the blog so you can bake them, too. They will make you happy.


Chocolate cookies

Chocolate cookies

December 12, 2014

Still in an Autumn Mood

Some pictures I took this week using little colorful things laying around the house. 
The pumpkin that survived the Thanksgiving was baked today, made a nice snack topped with the pumpkin butter.

Несколько натюрмортов, составленных из пережившего осенние праздники 
тыквы и тканей, очень осенние краски.

Still in an autumn mood

Still in an autumn mood

Baked pumpkin

December 9, 2014

New Quilt : pastel hexagons

I took this quilt for a walk in the desert to see some bright sun 
that we are so lucky to have this time of the year and to take pictures before I give it to a happy owner 
and it stays inside forever and ever.

This quilt is made of Moda "Nature's Notebook" fabric collection 
by April Cornell that I have bought ages ago. 
Lovely French Country yellow-blue pastel colors.

Я закончила новый квилт и вывела его на прогулку на солнце проветриться и сделать фотографии. У нас стоит отличная зимняя погода. Точнее, у нас еще осень, и листья только начали падать.

New hexagon quilt

Hexagon quilts

The new quilt is made from the same size hexagons that I used for my blue/red quilt, but the finished look is completely different. The colors blend together and look almost seamless. 

Новый желто-голубой квилт сделан из такого же размера 6-угольников, что я использовала для красно-синего квилта, но выглядит совсем по-другому, засчет того, что ткани сливаются друг с другом. Такой пастельный французский кантри стиль получился, хорошо впишется в комнату с винтажной "облупленной" мебелью. 

December 2, 2014

Quilting : the colors and the label

...taking a break between quilting and running errands...
...adoring the easy colors of the fabrics...


...finishing up to embroider the label for the new quilt...

Making a label for a quilt

November 21, 2014

Watercoloring and Inking moments : November review

I had great moments drawing some lines with watercolors and ink lately.
I have shared these and more on my Instagram.

illustration on a paper bag



watercolor test

October 16, 2014

Sketchbook : October review

Finally, it is a good season for going out with a sketchbook here in Nevada. The colors are changing slightly but surely, and the Red Rock is still there. I made a couple sketches in Lake Tahoe, too. But you don't go to Lake Tahoe with just a sketchbook and a few markers (as I figured out sketching on the spot). You go there fully equipped with paints and brushes and big pad of good paper. 
Well, next time...






October 2, 2014

Pattern inspiration : The 60's

I was having fun going through the 60's fashion on Pinterst.
Remember those glasses? Patterns??
My Mom had sunnies like these and my Dad had a shirt with flowers!
I made a couple patterns inspired by colors and designs from that era.






September 8, 2014

Pattern design : using watercolor sketches

Watercolors and the print on the fabric

Hello, pattern lovers!
Welcome to my blog!
I am so excited to be a part of the blog tour held by a very talented 
Bonnie Christine who is a fabric designer for the Art Gallery Fabrics (my favorite fabric company, love their textiles!)
She also a quilter and an avid DIY-er, you can see her beautiful creations on her blog @ www.goinghometoroost.com

Don't forget to check out these lovely blog hoppers that are linking to the party:
 Erin Stewart @  www.poppyquinn.com
Racheal Mckeeman @ www.thefloralsuitcase.com
(I love how there is a flower in each blog name!)

Click on the image below to see the list of cool blogs participating in the tour 
and see what interesting they are sharing.

design surface patterns from scratch blog tour!

As a part of the tour I am going to talk about how I transform my watercolor sketches into a pattern repeat. This is a super fun way to create a unique pattern using fast watercolor paintings, drawings,
pencil sketches, etc. 
So, to start with turning your lovely watercolors into a pattern you will need Adobe Photoshop for editing your artwork and Illustrator to make a repeat. You need a basic knowledge of these programs and some experience in editing and arranging images. I will try to describe the process in details, but it is not a tutorial, more of an inspiration. (You will find the resources for learning at the end of this article).

Here is the final product of what I am going to talk about today - the top I made from my own fabric
and I can't be happier with it!

I designed the fabric using the watercolor with butterflies I painted earlier this summer

So here is how I did it.

- 1 -
I watercolored lots of wings, small and big butterflies, mixing different shades of blue, with a big round brush on a regular watercolor paper, and let my imagination flow. A lizard made it there, too. 
I painted freehand emphasizing on texture and a fluid effect of watercolor.
There is no end of possibilities here!

Watercolor wings

- 2 -
I photographed each sheet individually in a crisp day light, making sure the paper is flat and there is no shade. I prefer to take photographs for digitizing the watercolors rather then scanning. My scanner works better for black and white images and looses a lot of fine details of watercolors.
I transferred  images to the computer, cropped and then opened them in Photoshop.
When I have done that, I cleaned the artwork by erasing speckles, sharpened and adjusted the colors, saturation, levels, brightness, etc. to the way I was happy.
I made sure I had an image on a transparent background, by deleting the white part completely.
(There are different ways of doing this, look up tutorials on-line).

This is how it looked like in Photoshop at that point.
(still not sure how the lizard fits in here:))

Fullscreen capture 982014 104155 AM.bmp

- 3 -
I arranged butterfly wings and middle parts (the lizard will wait for another time!),
reflecting and copying the wings, rotating and adjusting the scale of the parts.
I also warped and free transformed the wings a little bit to make them not too symmetrical.
Make sure the layers are set to "Multiple", so that your images have that "see through effect".
Here are the two final butterflies after editing. 


I saved the images as Photohop files and opened them in Illustrator by Placing in the New Document.
Embed and scale. 
Now the fun part begins!
Creating a future repeat is the most creative part of this process.

- 4 -
In Illustrator I created a square for a background and placed my butterflies on top on a different layer and started arranging them in a repeat.
To compose a correct repeat is a tricky part and there are different ways to approach it. 

You must have learned ins-and-outs from watching the Bonnie Christine's online class Design Surface Patterns From Scratch 
it is the greatest online video class on the subject and still available for download. 
I learned that she does not use the Pattern Mode that built-in the new Illustrator SC6. She instead creates a swatch by choosing the repeat and dragging it to the swatch menu, and then fills the new box with the new fill. It allows to control the motif placement easier, but I am still not sure how to create more complex repeats. Also, the part of re-coloring the artwork is most amazing! Of course, the pattern has to be in Illustrator format in order to be re-colored. 

Overall, everybody seems to find their own way that suits their unique design style, some people use only Photoshop to create a pattern, some use a combination of both programs, some use only Illustrator. I watched many tutorials before it got clear to me. I also found bits and pieces about it in the books that are on the picture below. If you did not see the video class, I recommend to check out these links:

1. How to get started with Adobe Illustrator 
2. How to make a repeat pattern swatch in Adobe Illustrator
3.  How to make an Overlapping Halfdrop repeat pattern (by Bari J.)
4. Pattern making tool in Illustrator
and many many more that you can find just searching the web.

Here are some practice patterns I created  
before I have settled with the final one.

- 5 -
This is how my final arrangement looked.
I uploaded this repeat to the Spoonflower site and ordered some samples (kind of like strike-offs).
Then I ordered a print to be printed on a cotton voile and
was excited to sew the top that now proudly wear.


Here are the books that I own on pattern and textile design and my little library is growing.
From top to bottom :
Russian Textile by Susan Meller
Prints by Heather Ross
The Adobe Illustrator Cs6 WOW! Book
Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design by Laurie Wisbrun

books on pattern design

Have fun creating amazing designs and see you on your blogs!
I will stop by to see what cool stuff you guys are sharing!