First attempts at fabric design

Driftwood cushion

I am between quilting projects at the moment so while waiting for inspiration I have been having a go at designing my own fabrics and was excited to receive the first samples of my work last week from Spoonflower. I was really happy with how they turned out. They were even better than I was expecting because being my first attempt at creating repeat patterns it took quite a lot of trial and error to get the designs as I wanted them but I enjoyed the process and can’t wait to try some more ideas.

fabric samples from Spoonflower

I have used my quilt designs, drawings and photographs for inspiration for the fabrics. The gecko fabric is from one of my appliqué designs, and the flowers from drawings and watercolour sketches of periwinkle flowers that grow in our garden.

Inspiration for my periwinkle designs

The Driftwood fabric started off as a photo that I took of some driftwood on the local beach and then the image was mirrored and then mirrored again so that I could use it for a repeat design. I made this up into a cushion and I think it would look really great with outdoor furniture or very elegant on a plain cream, burgundy or back sofa or arm chair.

Driftwood cushion on chair


Autumn Geckos

This week I have been working on this gecko wall hanging, using the same fabrics as I used in my  a previous design but this time the wall hanging is embellished with needle lace leaves and the geckos are machine satin stitched with a hand dyed variegated cotton thread.

I made the needle lace leaves using a technique I learnt in an online course at Quilt University: ‘Machine Embellished Surfaces’ with  Susan Brittingham.


The leaves are first drawn out onto dissolving stabilizer with a permanent pen and then layered in an embroidery hoop with organza. Then using a free motion foot and the feed dogs lowered you stitch round the outline of the leaves and veins using a straight stitch. For these leaves I used a variegated rayon thread in both the bobbin and needle.

Detail showing the veins stitched first.

Detail showing the veins stitched and then the outline of the leaf. After the outlines are stitched you remove the fabric and stabilizer from the hoop and trim away the organza being careful to trim closely but not so close that the fabric will fray when you do the next stitching.

Next using a free motion zig zag stitch and the organza on top you stitch over the straight stitch outlines using a narrower stitch for the veins and a wider one for the outlines.

Once all the leaves are stitched you trim away the excess stabilizer and then rinse the leaves to remove the rest.

The completed leaf ready to be stitched onto the design.

 The finished design.