In this issue: ▪ Pattern Happy▪ Spoonflower Pattern Play▪ Making a Seamless Pattern Design▪ There's an App for That (and an online workshop, too)

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In this issue:

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No surprise, I love patterns; Patterns in art, patterns in buildings, patterns on fabric, patterns that move, patterns of words and letters -- just about any pattern at all. Most recently, it's those natural patterns that have caught my imagination.

I'm neck deep in designing fabric patterns for a new series of work based on my recent trips out to Big Bend and the Chihuahuan desert. In the Sensory Alphabet lingo, pattern equals rhythm, and i can practically hear the patterns I see and reimagine for my work. As rhythm, patterns are one of those design tools that "hold together" a composition. A pattern of shapes or colors or lines makes an image make sense, and helps us to connect it to other images and ideas outside of the picture frame.

Of course, doing this work has taken me on a host of other less car-dependent journeys than were the two recent 700 round trip treks to Big Bend National Park. I've researched and explored countless pattern sites, apps and resources on the web. And this newsletter gives me a chance to share some of them.

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Big Bend photos and drawings transformed to fabric designs

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The big share will come in October with the opening of an exhibit at theTemple (Texas) Cultural Activities Center where Junanne Peckand I will collaborate with a large exhibit of textile art, prints and paintings. Junanne has been a teacher with me at my Summer Art Camp in New Mexico for two years and will be back (with metal and fiber artist Dale Jenssen) this summer. We'll also be hosting an opening and several workshops during the two month run of the exhibit. Stay tuned to this newsletter for dates to come!

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Spoonflower is the online POD (Print on Demand) site that I use for producing the fabrics that I design with the help of my iPad and Mac (mostly the iPad!). Spoonflower links my uploaded art to an online editing site called PicMonkey (you can access it -- with even more tools available from your desktop, too)> It's a disrupter for sure, no doubt if you sew you've seen the news that Hancock's is going out of business. With online sites for fabric purchase and even the ability for textile people like me to design my own fabrics, it's another sign of the times. A fabric store today has to offer something really special, have a niche market or cater extremely well to a loyal client base.

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With Spoonflower, I can upload a simple image. This pomegranate design is a rough, really rough, seamless design (see below) that I cut from construction paper and photographed to use as a repeat. I uploaded it to Spoonflower, then made variations with its repeat tools and using PicMonkey. The possibilities are endless for just one simple design. If I want a related group of fabrics, all I need to do is tweak! Soonflower even gives me ways to change the colors of a design to make the same pattern in a different color way. You get the picture!

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Julia Rothmans rocks patterns in a whole series of pattern videos on SkillShare.

Nope, wish I could take the credit! This great video from illustrator Julia Rothman is the easiest explanation I've ever seen about drawing (on paper) a seamless pattern that repeats in both directions without "edges." This is how I made the above pomegranate pattern, though I didn't photograph it quite carefully enough to get a perfect repeat. That's tomorrow's challenge!

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Same pomegranate image altered with Flipomatic

If you like pattern play, here are a few iPad and iPhone apps that you might like for pattern experiments.
1. iOrnament
2. Patterns by Corel (iphone, and is a bit glitzchy)

A bit daunting? I provide tutorials and lots of handholding for Spoonflower, these and lots of other apps in my Art on the iPad online course. The next session starts April 11, and for readers of this newsletter, I'm offering a "fill the class" coupon worth $25 off, just put in the code SUSIEIPAD at the payment page. Also, if you've taken the course before, but wish to repeat it for a refresher -- and to get the updated tutorials and have fun with the discussions, you can register for a repeater rate of $25. Just email me for that coupon code,

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The Victoria & Albert Design Collection is just one destination along the Pattern Trail.

For more pattern fun and adventure, follow my blog posts on my website, here. I'll be posting one new Pattern Play blog each week this month, with more helpful hints, great links and web resources. You can also follow me on Facebook to see the highlights and get links to the blog. You mayonnaise that my blog has been inactive for quite a time -- but I've decided to revive it this year, leading up to my exhibit and fall series of workshops. Since I am teaching less often at my studio, this helps me find a community to exchange ideas with and to keep in touch with. I hope you'll join me on the road.

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