Jane Lewis Textile Scholarship

Jane Lewis Scholarship Fund

On August 24, 2017 we lost Jane Lewis, one of the most talented and knowledgeable textile designers in the quilting industry. Jane had been battling lung cancer since 2015 and through all she had to endure she was still committed to her contributions to our industry.

Jane truly loved the textile design industry and it always showed. She was so grateful to rise up and lend a helping hand to other designers. While at P&B Textiles she helped countless artists and designers craft brilliantly curated collections. She loved discovering new talent within the industry and helping designers find their way. This work and passion continued within her work in Pattern Observer’s Textile Design Lab and so many students have benefited from it. She was so passionate about the TDL community, attending our weekly art critiques, giving detailed feedback on our forums, and creating a guest expert training on Developing Quilt Fabric Collections. Her words and insights were cherished by everyone, and all who received them are better in their craft because of it.

Soon after Jane’s passing her friends and family established the Jane Lewis Textile Scholarship to help students trying to learn the craft of textile design. Pattern Observer has matched all donated funds and we are pleased to announce that we will be awarding the first two scholarships on February 14, 2018.

If you are interested in applying you can learn more here.

Repeat Downbeat: Holiday Guide Part Two


(L) By Kels O’Sullivan (R) Blouse from Madge Goods

For this week’s Repeat Downbeat we’re excited to present the second part of our holiday gift guide.

Kels O’Sullivan is an artist living in Encounter Bay, South Australia and is my latest Instagram crush. Kels is “interested in the beauty of the abstracted form and enjoys deconstructing shapes to create beautiful, balanced, and emotive compositions” ….and it’s stunning. Her work includes all my favorites elements—details, layers, subtle texture, and a modern touch. I encourage you to check out the work on her website, but she also has some beautiful options on her Etsy shop.

Another favorite brand that I found in our #patternobserver feed is Madge Goods, a Sydney based brand creating limited run print-based fashion and homewares, which are aimed at those who wear their creative selves on the outside. Their unique print designs are both digitally and hand screen printed, plus cut and made locally in Australia. Their patterns and garments are all so fantastic that I was challenged to choose just one piece to share, but I was drawn to this unique colorway and the large scale of the motifs. Check out all their patterned wonders @madge_goods.


(L) Ornament by Yandi Jester (R) Wrapping paper by Ariel Rutland

If you need any last-minute wrapping paper, ornaments, or gifts, your search is over.  Yandi Jester has a beautiful array of watercolor floral prints, ornaments, and other gifts that will brighten anyone’s day. Yandi recently teamed up with the International Justice Mission and proceeds of every purchase from her collection goes toward this cause. It always feels great to feel good about where your money is going, especially during the holidays. Check out her beautiful store here.

I love the color palette, motifs, and thoughtful details that went into creating this beautiful wrapping paper from Ariel Rutland. She has such a delightful design style that she has applied to cards, prints, and wrapping paper in her Etsy’s store, including a gorgeous series of Hanukkah cards and wrapping paper. You can see more here.

Have a gift idea or store you want to share with the community? Post your link below!

A New Design Challenge for December in the Textile Design Lab: “Storytelling”


This month’s Chelsea’s Challenge in the Textile Design Lab was inspired by one of our wonderful guest experts, Maria Ogedengbe, and the idea of telling our family story, or the story of our community through motifs and patterns. This is a different route than our usual trend-driven challenges but felt like a good fit for the month of December which is always so busy with the holidays and travel.

We are allotting five weeks for this challenge rather than our usual four to account for the holidays, so there is plenty of time to join in on the fun! Finished collections will be due on January 8th in the Lab, but the first step we ask Lab members to take is to put together a “backbeat” to their collection, essentially a mood board that they can refer back to during the design process if they lose sight of their intended direction and need to re-focus. The first week of any Chelsea’s Challenge is always dedicated to backbeat creation, and includes researching a target customer, finding inspiring imagery and narrowing down a color palette. Then we move on to the design process! This is always an exciting time because we get to see our members’ collections grow from rough sketches and works-in-progress to portfolio-ready works of art as they workshop a main print and two to four coordinates on our private forum and during our weekly live art critiques.

Sound like something you’d like to take part in? We don’t blame you, it’s a blast! Sign up for a Lab membership to join in on the fun–we can’t wait to welcome you to our community!


Repeat Downbeat: Holiday Gifts Part One


(L) Notebook from Luisa Fernanda, (R) Linens from More Than Ever

Over the new two weeks we are excited to feature some of the beautiful printed products that are posted in our #patternobserver Instagram feed. We hope that you will find the perfect gift for your loved ones from this community of talented designers and makers.

We are kicking things off with these super adorable sheets from @shopmorethanever, which was started by sisters Brook and Mandie. The linens were designed to be mixed and matched, which I know will appeal to this creative community. The colors are fresh and fun and the patterns are delightful.

I’m not a consistent journaler, but I am a compulsive list maker and note taker, so I am always on the lookout for inspiring notebooks. This notebook by Luisa Fernanda, a/k/a @_flowarte, caught my eye. I love Luisa’s loose watercolor style and the various motif shapes and sizes and the vibrant color palette. You can see more of her beautiful work on her Etsy shop.


(L) Wrapping paper from Olive and Co, (R) Pencil case from Handmade Philosophy

Another Etsy shop that you’ll want to check out is @handmadephilosophy, which is run by Livia Saba. In February 2012 Livia listed her first item on Handmade Philosophy, and she began using her own patterns and artworks in 2014. I was first drawn to all the vibrant and enchanting colors that Livia uses in her work. Her products are beautifully illustrated and are a great way to bring beauty to the small moments in your day. I love the combination of motifs here: birds, erasers, pencils, and tiny geometrics sprinkled throughout.

If you need a little magic in your life, check out the beautiful goodies over @oliveandcopaper. Olive and Company was stated by Faye Hurley, a freelance textile artist and illustrator living and working in Worcester, MA. After working in the fashion industry as an Assistant Designer and moving onto freelancing as an Illustrator and Surface Pattern Designer, Faye made the move to produce her own line of illustrated and printed goods which includes: gift wrap, cards, tags, and art prints. Most of her patterns and illustrations are bright, bold, and upbeat, but I fell in love with this moody and magical Celestial Moon gift wrap. You can see all of her patterned goodies here.


(L) Towel from Geo Botanica, (R) Pencil case from Natalie Lea Owen

Speaking of bright and bold, a gift from @natalie_lea_owen would be such a fun gift for a friend. Natalie Lea Owen is a Surface Pattern Designer who started her own independent brand in 2015 that was inspired by her love for illustration, bold patterns, and contemporary colors. She has applied her bold patterns to a beautiful line of small cases, bags, tea towels, cards, and notebooks, all which you can check out here.

Fresh new tea towels are always a fun gift idea (am I showing my age or what?), and I am head-over-heels in love with the botanical-inspired art collection created by Seattle, WA-based illustrator Emily Raffensperger of Geo Botanica. Her watercolor flowers and leaves have such a beautiful depth and richness, and she layers and places her motifs in such a perfect way. She applies her beautiful patterns to other products such as prints and notebooks.

I hope these gift ideas have inspired you like they have me.  There are so many talented artists and designers creating products that bring hope, happiness, and laughter to our day. I think the holidays are a wonderful time to support what they are doing. Do you have a favorite shop or a shop where you sell your own work? Please post the link below!

Featured Designer: Sophia Frances

Sophia-Frances-cushionsThis week I have the pleasure of featuring the work of Sophia Frances, a London-based surface pattern designer. I love how Sophia pairs simple motifs with sophisticated, yet subtle, textures and then presents them in fun, uplifting colorways. I shared her work in a recent #repeatdownbeat post and am excited to share her story, in her own words, with you today.

“I was always an artistic child and allot of my childhood memories were spent with me and my younger brother being dragged to design museums in London by my mum, who at the time was studying design at university. Little did I know at the time, but this really opened my eyes and gave me an understanding and appreciation of design and art from a young age. (And I still love going to museums now, it transforms me back to feeling like a kid again.) I went on to study Surface Pattern Design at the London College of Printing and this is where I found my love of pattern, textiles, and screen printing.


“I embarked on a short-lived career in fashion buying but felt disheartened with the fast throw away fashion business. I started painting again and this inspired me to set up my own creative design studio that would allow me to design what I loved and not what the trends and fashions were dictating. Today, I vow to only design things that I love.

“My process nearly always starts with a photo that I have taken, I whip out my watercolours and get doodling whenever I can. Allot of my inspiration comes from my time spent visiting family in Northern Cyprus—the culture, the colours, and the food, etc. Spending time in London is also very inspiring. Just being a part of such a vibrant city and observing everyday life gets my mind buzzing with ideas.

Akis Multi2.jpg

“I have 2 young children so my time is limited, but actually I think it works well, as it allows me to be super efficient in the space of time that I have. At the moment I enjoy working fast and getting my designs on paper in a deliberate nieve style, as this allows me to not be too rigid. Then I go back and tidy the work up after. I scan my designs into my laptop and adjust them into working repeat designs, but at the same time, I am trying not to lose the hand painted feel and watermarks that add the look of texture. I love seeing my final designs come to life on fabric and then getting transformed into homewares.”

You can see more of Sophia’s work at her website: Sophiafrances.com

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.