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In my earlier post about my embroidered Bead Habitat, I referred to a slightly related rabbit hole. That rabbit hole is fabric design. For years I have cut and repeated elements to create kaleidoscope patterns, but it never seemed to be a particularly useful habit since the only printing I knew of was onto paper or canvas. Then I discovered Spoonflower where they can print on a wide variety of fabrics. Suddenly I could imagine designing my own fabrics, perhaps even some to use in making more bead habitats.

I find creating patterns pretty addictive. Don’t ask me how, but I went from this photograph of a pair of earrings…

Patchwork bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

Patchwork bead earrings by Cate van Alphen

to these patchwork and chevron patterns,

Pink patchwork pattern

Pink patchwork pattern

Chevron pattern

Chevron pattern

via a few tiled kaleidoscope patterns.

Art Nouveau tile pattern

Art Nouveau tile pattern

Art Deco tile pattern

Art Deco tile pattern

That’s only some of the designs, from one photo, with one colour adjustment :o. That rabbit hole is starting to look pretty deep!

I still need to get some swatches printed to see if they live up to my imagination. I find the thought of using fabric I designed from an image of beads I made as a component in a necklace strangely fulfilling. It’s like making compost from kitchen scraps to grow better vegetables (even though I’m currently only growing some spectacular dandelions in the garden, I like the idea).

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