Category Archives: Patterns

Mingus Landscape




Looked like we were going to get some rain today. It just stayed hot, and grey and windy.  I ran errands, and took a detour.  Checked out the new houses going up behind us. We only see two, but there are five so far. Drove past them a bit, and pulled over to snap photos of the hills.  Click on the image below for a larger view. This is looking east.

Mingus Landscape




In my last post I mentioned not being happy with the scale of some of my items on Roostery. This image will help explain. On the right is how they appear on the site. The left is closer to what I have in mind.

On Spoonflower, for many of my designs, I let the customer know that the scale can be altered at their request. That option is not available on Roostery as of yet.

The check chair is showing at a decent scale. I think the boat pattern should be reversed. Large on the pillow, small on the napkin. The Kenya black and white pattern is far too large, just doesn’t make sense.



Some of my patterns do not work at all for the Items on the site. I wish I had the option of not including them.


Sprout Worked with the Sprout site as well today. Here the process is:
1. Choose a sewing pattern.
2. Pick a design.
3. Customize your project.
4. Project is printed for you.
5. Cut and sew at home, or Sprout will sew it for you.

The site is very easy to use, and you have many options. You can have  a dress made in just the pattern. Or you can mix and match with solids pulled from the pattern.

Creating projects, gets them listed on my Sprout shop page, the main site gallery, and  Spoonflower’s design page. So it doubles the exposure.




I spent most of the weekend adding new items to Zazzle. They are not visible yet. The site offers a quick create option, allowing you to create many items at the same time. It is quicker in some respects. But each item still needs to be scaled, and the printing placement needs to be double checked. To make sure the design completely covers the item.

More work behind the scenes. Hoping to finish by the end of the week. It has been far too long since I picked up a brush. And I have new surface patterns swirling thru my head. Crazy but I sometimes dream them. Might be a sign I need a break huh?








June Sunset



June Sunset, Mingus Mountain SMD

June Sunset, Mingus Mountain


Recent Mingus sunset. Hope you can see the warm hue that blanketed the hills. Subtle, but caught my eye. The next view is of shapes usually unseen. This section is to the right in the photo above. Most often it is a long stretch of blue or green, one solid “piece”. I love how the shadows brought out the shapes. I see a painting there.


Hillside shadows

Hillside shadows

Started with a little spackle…

Ended up tearing down walls and laying a new foundation. Prior to last month’s design frenzy, my Spoonflower patterns were at about 85 total. I now have 128, and about 40 more to add. I knew when I started, that this re-design, clean up project would take longer than a week. Still, that was my goal. Could have been done days ago, if I didn’t add new to-do’s to my list as soon as I cross items off.

The project will be complete today. I am on the last two design redo’s.  Wooo – Whoo!  I will share those with you soon.

Your comments on my last post made me aware of my terrible explaining skills. So here is an explanation of one part of making a repeating pattern. Hiding your seams. The edges of your design.

One task was to create more complete collections. Some are just the same design in different colorways, others have a main pattern with coördinates. Both of the samples below are part of the Farmers Market collection.

I took the lemon from Bountiful, and made a quick toss pattern. There are only nine lemons in the design. Below you can see two sets of lemons. (For this design, I only used one painted lemon, very simple.)  I place one element on the edge of the design. Make a copy, and with the help of Photoshops design guides, line them up to match top to bottom, and side to side.


Start of a repeating pattern.


Object guides.

Object guides.

Sometimes you can “cut” the element in directly half, and then matching them on the edge is quick and painless. Often that does not work with the overall pattern, (and you can’t have all the elements line upon a seam). The guides are a frame around the object. The edges are clearly marked, and the center is marked as well. And when you have copies of the same element centered, highlighted lines appear to let you know you have a perfect match. You get top and bottom, and center lines in bright pink.


Elements are centered.

Elements are centered.


When I am trying to match up two uneven halves, I look for a mark I can use to measure. A leaf, a spot. On the left and right lemons above, I used the end of a line detail. Got lucky on the first try, without even having to zoom in. What makes it so precarious, is that you will see the matching point on one half only. On the other half, that point is past the edge, off the canvas and invisible. So zooming in is essential, and you get really good at counting pixels.

Once you have your edges, disguised, it is a matter of placement. Fussing and fidgeting. You save the pattern (define), open a new doc where you can see it as a full repeat, and zoom in to check your edges. You also zoom way out to see it smaller, and that is when you will start to notice a different set of mistakes. You might define your pattern 20 times or more on a complex design, before you get it all right. I work in Photoshop CS5, and I am sure this part is quicker in newer versions.

So, after quickly finishing the lemons, I came up with the brilliant idea you see below. (Brilliant Sheila, make more work for yourself! LOL) I have never done a pattern like this before. But there seem to be quite a few on Spoonflower, so I thought why not give it a try. Not as difficult as I had thought, just time-consuming because there are so many elements.

Pears pattern edges.

Pears pattern edges.

There are seven rows, of seven pears. SEVENTEEN sets of pears to be matched. I first lined up the top and bottom edges, and left and right. Lucky score on the sides, three pairs matched right off. Hands in the air! None of the top and bottom matched. As expected.

I learned, that I should have just started at the top, and worked my way down. I was working in reverse. Big mistake. Oh well, one thing I won’t forget soon.



When I reached the end, the top, the last layer covered up the edge. My previous matching was under new pears. Another lesson learned. One of the things I love about designing and Photoshop, always learning!! Click here to see the finished pattern. On that page you can click on the test swatch drop down to see it in “yard” view.

All designs for sale, were revamped, or copy was edited. The same is true for Designs not for sale, 41 of which are new additions from this week. I also have private designs that will be edited and posted later today. So blessed to have had the energy to focus on this much-needed project. I will explain more about that soon.

I usually take anywhere from a day, to three days to complete a design from scratch. That includes researching the theme, choosing a palette, creating the elements digitally or by hand. And finally, creating the pattern.

I am floored by how much I have managed to work through. But my new normal is, that this burst of energy will be followed by a need for rest. Another reason I am so focused on completing the work before I move on. As it is, when I finish list one tomorrow, I have an additional dozen items that I need to address. But I will take a week or two to get through those.

Whew! Hope that answered some of your questions. I appreciate your interest and support!








Spoonflower Spruce Up



Kenya Collection, SMD

Kenya Collection, SMD


I haven’t forgotten the trees. I just got on a roll, and haven’t been able to jump off. I started to fix one thing, and then another. And before I knew it, my list was subdivided and neatly categorized by actions.

This weekend I revised fabric designs. For some, that meant scale adjustments. On others I revived the colors. I added to collections, verified tags, and re-wrote descriptions. I passed my goal for last month, and now have 105 designs listed.

Taking part in the recent design challenges added visibility, grew my design library and increased sales. In the last six weeks, I have developed six designs, 23 coordinates and 20 matching solids. (Some of those still need to be uploaded.) I decided that this month I would get the shop in tip-top shape.

The collection above started with five designs, I added 11 more. Three patterns, in multiple color variations. Click on the image for a closer look if you would like.

Today I also created six more designs in a different collection that I will upload to the site tomorrow. There are roughly 20 designs that need a serious make-over. I am hopeful that I can make the changes and finish this project by the end of the week.

I will find time for the trees though. I think using a different part of my brain for a bit will be helpful.

Happy creating to you!






Mountain Moments



Big Blue. Mingus Mountain. SMD

Big Blue. Mingus Mountain. SMD


Mingus Breezy. SMD

Mingus Breezy. SMD


Hills. Watercolor on gessoed Arches 140 lb. paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Hills. 4 x 6 watercolor on gessoed Arches 140 lb. paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado


Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Still time to vote in the Insects Skillshare Whimsical watercolor Design challenge!  Thanks so much for taking the time. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!







This Could Bee The One



Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado


This design was so fun to work on. I found the flower when I organized my artworks. It is mounted on wood, I placed it on a shelf. Thinking about this challenge, I was trying to find a not-so-ugly bug. Then It came to me. My blue bee was sort of pretty. There it began.

Bee Bloomers is my entry in the Spoonflower – Insects Skillshare Whimsical Watercolor design challenge. I really think this could be a contender for top ten. Can’t do it without you though!
(click links to vote)


Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

If you missed it, you can read about where the original ended up, the WIP here and the slow beginning.

Oh boy, seeing this again after so long, there are many things I would change. (The awful background.) You can see in the revised bee below, I did change quite a bit, digitally.






  1. Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    I made the mouth larger, to help it print better on fabric. I just copied, resized and pasted.

  2. Added the missing second antennae and front leg. In the reference photo, neither were visible. I copied and pasted those as well.I stretched the antennae, resizing for better printing.
  3. I beefed up her back and rear as well.  Sorry dear. The rear is now touching the leg, and is longer. The back surrounds the rear wing so it looks fully, “attached”.
  4. It was nearly impossible to crop the bee from the wood background. Some of the wood grain obliterated the hairs on the legs. The quickest thing to do was erase the hairs, and then draw them back on in Photoshop. I was dreading that part, but it turned out to be easy.
  5. I added highlights to the center leg, and made the bottom of the rear leg larger, and better attached to the top half.

It is hard to see most of these details in the low-res images, and they may not even show on the fabric. Then again, I have always been pleased with the quality of Spoonflowers printing. The work was fun, and challenging, and that counts for something in my book.


Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado


 Additional Design Elements

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

The only adjustments I made to the flower was to smooth the edges and add color between the blue center lines. I left them white on the painting, and I like it, but I have to admit it doesn’t “make sense”.

I smoothed the edges for better printing. I knew I was going to use an outline of the flower shape as an additional design element, so the edges needed to be as clean as possible.

Carpenter bees tunnel into wood to lay their eggs. Carpenter bee adults spend winter in wood within abandoned nest tunnels. After mating, the fertilized females excavate tunnels in wood and lay their eggs within a series of small cells. (from Wikipedia)

I wanted to include a wood element in the pattern. My first thought was an all over linear background. I couldn’t get it to work. I was “this close”. So at least I am on the right track.

Thing is, once I do manage to get it to repeat, I will be able to use it over and over. Below is a look at my idea. If you look at the lines on the left edge, and then the right, you well see that they do not match up. Some do, but not all.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.


So I had to rethink the wood. I filled those hollow flower shapes with several faux-wood grain patterns. And honestly, I think it works better. I have the bees facing all directions, and the “wood” flowers help to support the multi-directional toss.

I can use the wood grain as I have it to create a cheater quilt though! Woo Whoo!



Bee Bloomers Collection

Bee Bloomers Collection

I wanted soft colors for the background, that would not distract from the painted elements. White, blue, yellow and green. Spoonflower designers often seem to favor dark backgrounds, so I tried a steel-blue, sampled from the bee.


There it was.
My design challenge entry.

I continued to play with color, and found that teal really made the flowers pop. The final turquoise is very Hawaii, tropical delight! For that one I changed the shade of green on the small button flower, and darkened the wood patterned flowers. For a closer look, visit my shop.




So thankful to you for taking the time to vote.
Grateful if you think of sharing the link with friends.
Happy if you enjoyed this lengthy post.


No matter how sure you that a friend will be there for you when you need them, it is the greatest feeling when the time comes, and they are. 



  • All designs will be eligible for public voting, and the popular vote determines the top 25 winning designs. The first place winner will be chosen by Skillshare from the popularly-voted top 25 designs.
  • 1 first place winner each week (5 total, 1 per theme), chosen from the top 25 by Skillshare, will receive a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96) and $200 in Spoonflower credit.
  • The 2nd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $100 Spoonflower credit.
  • 3rd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $50 Spoonflower credit.
  • Remaining top 10 designs will receive a $20 Spoonflower credit. The top 25 popularly-voted designs from each theme (100 total, 25 per theme) will be automatically made available for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace (provided they are a verified seller) where they will receive 10% commission on every sale — no $5 swatch required.
  • In addition, all design challenge entries submitted during the Skillshare partner design challenges (04/12/17 – 05/23/17) will be entered into a drawing; one lucky contest entrant will be randomly selected by Spoonflower for the Grand Prize on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The grand prize winner will receive a 1-year Spoonflower PRO membership (valued at $249), a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96), one Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet (valued at $218) and a 1-year Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud subscription (valued at $240). The grand prize winner will be announced Thursday, June 1, 2017.
  • 04/11/2017: Submissions open
  • 05/16/2017: Submissions close at 3pm EDT
  • 05/18/2017: Public voting opens
  • 05/23/2017: Public voting ends at 3pm EDT to determine top 25 entries
  • 05/25/2017: Spoonflower will announce the winner


See the winners from last week. My designs have been in the top half, or top third. But Pomegranates only received 34 votes, placing at #279 of 422. There are 410 entries this week.