Middle of last year, I received the delightful news that my cousin and her husband were expecting their first child. In light of this, I wanted to create something special and practical as a gift for when the baby arrived. The biggest challenge was that I didn't know if it was a boy or a girl ... And when designing something specific its hard to be gender neutral at times.
With some brainstorming help from my mum, we decided to create a fabric print design that could be added to gauze wraps for the baby. In brief conversations with colleagues, a lovely art teacher I know told me of a website called 'Spoonflower'. Spoonflower enables you to upload an image or design and have it printed onto the fabric of your choice (including papers and wallpapers!).
FIrst - The design.
I opted for an Australian cottage garden theme for the initial design. Including a Blue Wren, Oranges, Golden Wattle, Poppy Flower and some gum leaves, beetles and bugs scattered throughout. Initially drawn in pencil I went back in with a fine-liner and a fatter marker to create texture and depth to the illustrations.
To create my design I began with a simple A4 piece of paper and sketched simple illustrations onto it in random areas - ensuring not to touch the edges of the paper. Next, I cut the paper in half from top to bottom, then swapped the halves around so that the original edges were touching in the middle (then taped together). Then I repeated this process across the center of the page and swapped the top and bottom pieces so that the edges were now in the center. This creates a base for a repetitive pattern, All that was left to do was fill in the (apparently) large gaps with 'fillers' - gum leaves and beetles. When uploaded into Spoonflower selecting the 'repeat' function allowed for a simple repetitive pattern (above).
Next step: Colour.
The colour (unfortunately) was not added on Spoonflower. This is outside the realm of their resources. So, I used Photoshop on my computer to experiment with colours. Initially I chose to experiment with bright colours throughout the design; however, it was too overwhelming and too saturated. So, after knocking back the colour a bit I found that the pastel tones worked well - and I tried not to focus too much on staying within the borders of the image. This created a softer, child-like effect.
The final image was printed on 100% Organic Gauze and I purchase 3 yards worth and had it divided into two separate throws. It appears that it is in good use now; and Caleb looks incredibly content.
Abbey is a practicing Visual Artist and high school teacher.