Wednesday, February 6, 2019


Last year I was blessed to be able to participate in Bonnie Christine Forkner's new surface pattern design class called Surface Pattern Design Immersion. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator to make repeating patterns for textile design - and so so much more. (I'll have more details about the upcoming class and how you can join in future blog posts!)

Perseverance Surface Pattern Design by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Bonnie has a surface pattern design membership group called the Flourish Surface Design Dig that I'm a member of. This year, she has a monthly design challenge to help us create surface patterns for our portfolios, collections, etc. The month of January seemed so busy (with what, I don't know!) so I didn't get around to opening up the email with the challenge details until a couple of days before the deadline of January 31. Her prompt for the January design was to pick a word of intention for the year and create a design that represented that word. Ugh! I'm not good with that sort of thing.

But I forged ahead because I wanted to participate. Trying to choose a word had me stumped. But after the lackluster responses I received at market on my portfolio, I knew I could easily quit and give up, which is something I really don't want to do - so I began looking at words like persistence and persevere. I wanted to represent my word with a floral drawing so I researched what flowers might represent any of these words. I hit upon the word 'perseverance' when I found that bindweed, that noxious weed we continually fight on our farm, symbolized it. (Just to be thorough, the magnolia also symbolizes the word perseverance, but it isn't a flower/tree native to western Kansas so it has little meaning to me.) So I set about sketching a bindweed flower and it's arrow-shaped leaves, which is really the identifying part of the plant. I was thrilled when my farmer hubby identified my drawing as bindweed without hesitation!

The background in the first photo is my finished design. I was really happy with the design and the limited color palette I used. But, one of the comments I received at market about my designs was the use of outlines on my motifs. It gives the designs a vintage feel, which I like and I feel is my style, but on more than one occasion I was told by art directors that their company did not have any more room for vintage-inspired designers. So I decided to play around with my flowers and create a pattern without lines and this is my first attempt. 

I didn't have a lot of time to work on this because, as I said, it was near the deadline and I was actually spending the next 4 days at my mom's for her annual Sisters Sewing Retreat, which is always a fun way to celebrate her birthday. Hopefully next week I'll have a couple of quilt finishes from our retreat to share (tops are finished but needs to be quilted)!