Inspiration

Tammy de Zilva – The Designer Project

Our current feature artist as part of The Designer Project is the wonderfully creative designer Tammy de Zilva and we have been so fortunate to have her talents on board! Tammy has offered a range of her colourful and figurative designs as print-ready artwork in our Fabric Shop online, with each being available to print onto any of our stock fabrics! What’s more exciting is that the artist herself has shared with us a guest blog which discusses her primary inspirations and creative processes. Keep reading to find out more about Tammy de Zilva and her “Playground Stories” Collection!

Hello friends! Tammy de Zilva here from Loopla. I’m a Surface Pattern Designer from Brisbane and am so excited to join The Designer Project with Digital Fabrics. I love to create playful retro designs for both kids and adults, using bright bold colours to inject a punch of happiness into my work. My biggest goal is to bring joy to others with my art.

Tammy de Zilva

Today I’m sharing with you my collection “Playground Stories”. This playful collection was inspired by the creative storytelling of an imaginative 4-year-old and his mum, me! From bunnies frolicking through gardens to pink bananas rolling down hills, this collection has sweet, playful and happy tones. The designs are perfect for fashion, bedding, homewares and interiors for kids and big kids (like me!) alike.

“Floral Lines” tote bag mock-up

My son loves creative storytelling, especially a progressive story where we will take turns adding to the story which often adds many crazy twists and turns or something just plain silly. They give me so much inspiration for my designs and often make me think outside the box.

Tammy’s wonderfully colourful studio

Quite often I will start my design development on my iPad Pro and then take the designs into Adobe Illustrator on my computer to turn them into a repeat pattern. I love having the flexibility to change things around easily by working digitally from the start.

Tammy sketching motifs for “Floral Lines”

Occasionally I do go back to the sketchbook and do some initial doodles there first before digitising them.

Initial sketches for “Bear Faces”

Initial sketches for “Bear Faces”

“Bear Faces” will make the most adorable children’s clothes. I just love these cute little baby harem pants. The wonky lines just add that extra element of playfulness to them and the darker background really makes the colours pop.

“Bear Faces”

“Bear Faces” baby harem pants mock-up

I also love creating some designs in a larger scale to add impact. “Happy Flowers” and “Going Bananas” are both large scale designs in this collection and would look amazing as a dress, cushion or tea towel. I love having bold colourful tea towels in the kitchen to brighten things up.

“Happy Flowers” dress mock-up

“Going Bananas” t-shirt mock-up

I cannot wait to see what fabulous things you make with my designs. Be sure to tag me on Instagram and Facebook so I can see them and cheer you on!

Tammy de Zilva

If you want to collaborate with us on The Designer Project initiative and become part of this creative club, please apply! Send us an email with your portfolio and why you want to be part of this and we will be in touch.

“Playground Stories” – New Fabric Collection by Tammy de Zilva

We’re so excited to announce that our newest feature artist in The Designer Project is designer Tammy de Zilva. Tammy is the surface pattern designer behind Loopla – a Brisbane-based business which creates vibrant, retro-inspired designs with striking graphics and colours. Tammy’s designs are inspired by nature, everyday encounters, playing with her son and her extensive travels.

As part of The Designer Project Tammy has made a range of her eye-catching designs available to use in our Fabric Shop online – introducing the “Playground Stories” Collection. “Playground Stories” is inspired by the imagination and creativity found with children’s storytelling, with designs featuring whimsical motifs and colours that pop. Below we’ve shared more about each of the designs and have included some DIY ideas we think each would be perfect for. Keep reading to find out more about Tammy’s “Playground Stories” Collection!

“Happy Flowers” is a bright and cheerful floral print that features crisp shapes and a colour palette that packs a punch! With the vibrant colours set against a muted navy background “Happy Flowers” is a fantastic example of a versatile statement print.

“Happy Flowers” would be great design to use for summer dresses, cushion covers and towels.

“Floral Lines” is inspired by flowers blowing in the breeze on a sunny day in spring! The wonky lines nestled amongst the floral motifs adds a touch of playfulness to the gorgeous design.

We would love to see “Floral Lines” used for a cute summer playsuit or a retro style full piece swimsuit!

“Spring Joy” celebrates all the things we love about spring – birds chirping, pineapples being in season, flowers blooming and fun in the sun. This design is bursting with motifs and details and we simply can’t get enough of!

“Spring Joy” would be such a cute design to use for button-up, short sleeve shirts, hair ties and bandanas.

“Garden Bunny” was inspired by stories of bunnies frolicking through gardens and features super sweet, vintage inspired motifs. The combination of pink, blue and white results in a really fun feeling design.

“Garden Bunny” would be a great choice for kids clothing, pyjamas and summer bed robes.

“Bear Faces” is a super sweet novelty print featuring adorable bear motifs. The loosely drawn stripe in the background frames the bears beautifully and gives the design added dimension.

“Bear Faces” is a perfect design for kids clothing, kids bedding, boxer shorts and pyjamas.

“Going Bananas” is a playful, fruity print that transforms the humble everyday banana into an unexpected explosion of pink and orange fun! The design features gorgeously illustrated banana motifs with sweet spotty skin textures.

“Going Bananas” is a fantastic design to use for statement bedding, beach bags and wide leg pants.

“Beach Days” instantly evokes images of a summer beach holiday – chasing seagulls and indulging in tropical drinks and afternoon ice creams. “Beach Days” is wonderful, smile-inducing novelty print perfect for kids and big kids alike.

We think “Beach Days” is perfect for kids clothing, kids swimwear, pencil cases and cosmetic pouches.

“Licorice Allsorts” is a tribute to the old days of riding bikes to the corner store and buying lollies with your friends. This design pairs geometric forms and deliciously sweet colours to create the perfect nostalgic print.

“Licorice Allsorts” would be a wonderful design for co-ordinate sets and cute shift dresses.

Who doesn’t love listening to rain falling on the roof? “Raindrops” perfectly captures the joy of being warm and snuggled-up inside on a rainy day.

We think “Raindrops” would be a gorgeous design to use for tailored summer shorts and swimwear.

Each of the designs from Tammy’s “Playground Stories” collection is available to be printed onto any of our stock fabrics. Simply head to our Fabric Shop online, choose the designs and then select the base cloth that’s right for your project – it’s that easy!

Ariane Nijssen – The Designer Project

We’ve been absolutely thrilled to have paper artist and surface pattern designer Ariane Nijssen of Aribombari take part in our latest instalment of  The Designer Project and have adored showcasing her work! Ariane has made a range of her unique, detail-rich designs available in our Fabric Shop online with artwork that is suitable across both fashion and homewares applications. Ariane has also put together the blog below which details the different steps she takes to create her comprehensive body of paper-based materials, which are then transformed into her gorgeous designs. Keep reading to find out more about Ariane’s fascinating process!

Hello, I am Ariane Nijssen and I would like to tell you about how I create my patterns.

Ariane Nijssen in her home

I have recently joined Digital Fabrics as part of their Designer Project, so it seems like the right time to tell you about how I transform my ideas into digital files ready for printing on fabric. My patterns feature colourful, textural mini collages that all started as mono printed pieces of paper.

Hand-made printed and paper-cut elements

“Flower Power” homewares mock-up

It’s quite a process actually and that is what I like! It all starts with coming across shapes and textures around me; in my garden, my neighbourhood and even in my kitchen. I work out how I can get these ideas printed using a home-made gelatine plate. I sketch the patterns that I like and create stencils from them. Or I collect leaves or other objects that I know will work as masks or stencils in mono printing.

Hand-made printed and paper-cut elements

Most weeks I aim to spend a few hours printing, using the stencils I have made and layering older prints. I end up with interesting, colourful pieces of paper that are ready for collaging.

“Fish Market” design

“Fish Market” apron mock-up

Side note: gelatine printing is absolutely fantastic! Affordable, available, and lots of fun. But I have to warn you too – it is addictive! You’ll end up with stacks and stacks of prints! If you want to know more about gelatine printing, have a look at Pinterest.

At home gelatine printing

My collage process starts by choosing a colour palette and selecting matching prints from my stash. With those, a pair of scissors and a scalpel I kind of ‘paint with paper’ to create mini collages. I actually mostly do this at our dining table, which means that I have to stop working when my family is ready for dinner. I actually started collaging as a simple way to be creative in between family commitments – it is easily packed away and started again.

Ariane creating designs use her paper art

Once I have the mini collages ready, I scan them and use Photoshop to create the patterns that are ready for printing on fabric.

Development of “Zesty Citrus”

“Zesty Citrus” design

 “Zesty Citrus” cushion mockup

I hope you like my quirky colourful patterns as much as I like creating them. If you would like to see more of my work (some designs are stand alone pieces, not repeat patterns for fabric printing), you can find me on Instagram @aribombari123.

If you want to collaborate with us on The Designer Project initiative and become part of this creative club, please apply! Send us an email with your portfolio and why you want to be part of this and sure, we will be in touch.

New Fabric Collection – Ariane Nijssen

Next up as our feature artist in The Designer Project is print and collage maker Ariane Nijssen and we’re really excited to be sharing her work with you! Ariane is the ultra-talented powerhouse behind surface design focused studio Aribombari. Ariane is a self-taught surface pattern designer from Perth, Western Australia, and after a twenty-year career in marketing she decided she wanted to focus on her creative side. Ariane ignited her love for paper, bright colours and texture when she discovered the endless possibilities that gelatine printing provides. Once Ariane’s designs began to stack-up she began branching out to collage and surface pattern as a way of sharing her work with others.

Nature proves to be one of Ariane’s biggest sources of inspiration, and she often uses real leaves and floral elements when printing designs at home. Ariane’s analogue print, papercut and collage methodology creates designs which retain the type of magic reserved for the hand-made. We absolutely love that Ariane has made a range of her gorgeously rich and detailed designs available to use in our Fabric Shop online and have shared the different types of projects we think they would be perfect below!

Ariane’s “Summer Treats” design began as a series of hand-printed paper pieces which were used to create individual mini collaged icy pole motifs. The layering of so many different textures and colours is what gives this nostalgic print it’s character!

“Summer Treats” would be a fantastic choice for children’s clothing and swimwear.

Oranges, lemons and kumquats – oh my! “Zesty Citrus” is a fresh feeling print with wonderfully bold fruit imagery. The original fruit slice motifs are made from small paper collages and is reminiscent of artwork from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

We think “Zesty Citrus” would be a gorgeous design to use for kitchen accessories, tableware and statement cushion covers.

“Fish Market” is inspired by Ariane’s early morning trips to a local fish monger and features quirky paper-cut fish motifs nestled against a soft net-like check. The design offers a really playful approach to layout with the variation in motif size and direction.

“Fish Market” would work really well for kitchen accessories and bedding.

“Flower Power” is a colourful, abstract floral design made-up of individual paper collages and hand-printed paper. “Flower Power” is available in two scales: “Small” where the largest flower is approximately 2.5cm in diameter and “Large” where the largest flower is approximately 10cm in diameter.

The different options in scale ensures the “Flower Power” design can be used in a variety of ways. We would especially love to see it used for summer dresses and swimwear.

“Echinacea Flowers” features three different paper-cut echinacea flower motifs set against a bright turquoise background. The white framing around the elements really allows the colours to pop!

We think “Echinacea Flowers” would be a great design to use for summer dresses and bedding.

“Aussie Gum Bricks” feature individual brick designs made from hand-printed tissue paper. The rich, jewel-like colour palette was inspired by a flowering gum tree.

“Aussie Gum Bricks” would be a gorgeous design to use for a fun jumpsuit that can be dressed up and down.

“Flower Breeze” is a dreamy floral print that captures leaves blowing in a warm summer breeze. This design was made by mono printing actual lupin leaves and bits of grass. “Flower Breeze” is available in two colourways, “Yellow” and “Pink”.

“Flower Breeze” is perfect for silky, mid-length skirts, hair-ties and face masks.

All of our DIY making ideas above are suggestions only and we think the possibilities are truly endless with each of these designs. All of Ariane’s designs are available to be printed onto any of our stock fabrics. Simply head to our Fabric Shop, choose your design and then select the fabric base cloth – it’s that easy!

Louise Addison – The Designer Project

Hi, I’m Louise from Radge Design. I’m a graphic designer & surface pattern maker based in outback Australia. I’ve always enjoyed creating. Art was my favourite subject at school and a bit at odds with my other maths/science subjects although they come in handy when working out repeats.

Louise Addison in her studio

My process is a little backwards in the day and age of digital design (I don’t own an iPad or digital sketching device).

I love pen and paper, almost all my designs start from sketches in my sketchbook.

I may have an idea in mind when I start, or I could be filling in time and in that case you never quite know where the illustrations will go as often. I sketch at night when sitting on the couch and watching TV.

Louise sketching motifs

After creating the random sketches, I scan them in and convert them to digital formats so that I can then edit and manipulate the motifs in Illustrator.

Some designs I design on the page as a repeat, others I create each individual element and then layer and arrange them on the screen to create a repeat pattern I am happy with.

Process works by Louise

The “Paintbrush Faces” collection is based on a few different sets of illustrations that I layered together to create the collection that is available at Digital Fabrics.

Printed fabric from the “Paintbrush Faces” Collection

I’m inspired by artists from a range of different movements and styles and especially like the Art Deco period for design in particular. I tend to design with limited colours in any one design. There may be a number of colours within the collection that complement each other without being evident in each pattern from the collection.

Louise sketching motfs

“Funky Friday”

“Funky Friday” dress mock-up

When working to a brief I will look at the information and then go away and brainstorm/sketch ideas for what I feel will work. Before then taking the next steps of scanning, altering motifs, adding colour and creating the repeat design.

“Mondrien Monday”

“Basic Sunshine”

“Blue Sunday”

I enjoy the challenges associated with taking the elements and creating a pattern that is pleasing to the eye and versatile so it can be used across a range of items from fabric to paper products or homewares items.

Louise in her studio

You can check out more of Louise Addison’s work at Radge Design and via Instagram @radgedesign & @radgedesignfabric

If you want to collaborate with us on The Designer Project initiative and become part of this creative club, please apply! Send us an email with your portfolio and why you want to be part of this and sure, we will be in touch.

“Paintbrush Faces” New Fabric Collection by Louise Addison

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that our new feature artist as part of The Designer Project is graphic designer and surface pattern maker Louise Addison. Louise is the creative genius behind design studio Radge Design and brings fabric to life through her surface designs! Louise has always loved art and being creative and now enjoys working as a designer to help make people’s ideas a reality.

Louise’s surface designs include hand-illustrated motifs and textures and tend to be informed by a love of movements throughout art history. We feel very fortunate that Louise has made a range of her gorgeous hand-drawn designs available in our Fabric Shop online – introducing the “Paintbrush Faces” Collection! The collection features a rich colour palette and gestural motifs and linework which feel playful and versatile. We’ve included a little more info about each of the designs below including DIY project ideas to get the ideas flowing.

The “Paintbrush” design features loosely sketched forms and rough lines which create a deconstructed geometric style print. “Paintbrush” is available in six colourways; “Paintbrush Teal”, “Basic Blue”, “Mondrien Monday”, “Paintbrush Blue”, “Scarlett Saturday” and “Blue Sunday”.

We think the “Paintbrush” designs would be a fantastic choice for full, a-line skirts and summer dresses.

The “Basics” design is a contemporary take on the classic pinstripe design. The design features hand-drawn strokes in alternating lengths which don’t quite join up. The short perpendicular lines add dimension and fun to the print. “Basics” is available in four colourways; “Basic Blush”, “Basic Teal”, “Basic Scarlett” and “Basic Sunshine”.

The “Basics” designs are very easy to wear and would be a gorgeous choice for wide leg pants, jumpsuits and co-ordinate sets.

“Paintbrush Faces” is a bold, abstract print featuring deconstructed face motifs scattered amongst roughly drawn shapes, textures and linework. “Paintbrush Faces” is available in three colourways; “Wednesday Blues”, “Thoughtful Thursday” and “Funky Friday”.

“Paintbrush Faces” would be great designs to use for short sleeved button-up shirts, scarves and bandanas.

 

Each of Louise’s designs are available to be printed onto any of our stock fabrics and we cannot wait for you to fall in love with the “Paintbrush Faces” Collection! Simply head to our Fabric Shop, choose your design and then select the fabric base cloth – it’s that easy!

Tracy Hall – The Designer Project

Around two years ago, I decided to combine my skills as a graphic designer and an artist to create bespoke surface art. From this my small business, Trace of Colour, was born.

Tracy Hall in her studio

My designs have an arty feel about them and usually involve familiar shapes with curious perspectives and punchy colours. All my designs start from a quick pencilled sketch, then outlined and defined using ink markers.  Whether it’s common objects or the fauna and wonder of seasonal change, it doesn’t matter, I love the simple process of drawing.

Every day I go on long walks with my two dogs and I always carry a sketch book with me – you’ll never know what you’ll see or what will pique the imagination. There’s an endless and amazing source of inspiration in this world.

Selection of Tracy’s designs

Once I’m happy with the finished image, I’ll scan it and use Photoshop to digitally enhance and create a repeat pattern. This way I can easily alter or adjust each element of the final design (colour, scale and/or texture) to suit any application or product. I’ve found this is the best way to personalise a pattern for my clients.

My dragonfly designs are a good example of this process. It started with two drawings and ended up being a collection of different colours and size patterns to suit fabrics for fashion and/or home décor.

Original sketches used for Tracy’s “Dragonfly” designs

“Dancing Dragonflies”“Dragonfly Green Garden”

“Dragonfly Garden”

I have a lovely little room in my house that has become my studio. It’s decked-out with numerous bits of paraphernalia, material swatches and eclectic artwork. This is my creative space where I become completely immersed in the design process.  I am not a hoarder by nature, but I don’t throw away any of my drawings and as a result, I have shelves full of sketch books. I tend to use my sketch books as others would mood boards. To me they represent a visual collage of ideas and inspiration for my pattern creations.

Tracy illustrating designs

I also love the history of textile design and have an extensive collection of pattern and textile books.   It’s fascinating to learn about the origin of patterns – why they were created and their possible cultural connections.  Did you know that the ‘animal skin’ pattern was created as a status symbol to give the wearer a sense of empowerment? This concept definitely influenced my animal skin patterns – we all need to feel empowered, right?

“By The Light Of The Moon”

“By The Light Of The Moon” Top

To me, patterns are what I call ‘usable art’. Generally we often wear dark or plain coloured clothing, and paint our homes in neutral tones. My style of artwork and patterns challenges this status quo.

A bespoke patterned piece of fabric can completely alter an outfit – giving it a ‘wow’ factor and make it look stunning. It can transform an old drab armchair into an eye-catching piece of furniture that everyone will rave about.

“Octopus Lace”

“Octopus Lace” Cushion Mockup

I truly enjoy the process of creating something from nothing and producing unique pieces of artwork that can be used as everyday items. I believe that most of us have an innate desire to style ourselves and the spaces we live in, so why not use my surface art and create something special.

You can view Tracy’s fabrics available in our Fabric Shop or follow Tracy’s creative journey on Instagram and Facebook.

If you want to collaborate with us on The Designer Project initiative and become part of this creative club, please apply! Send us an email with your portfolio and why you want to be part of this and sure, we will be in touch.

New Fabric Collection – Tracy Hall

We are so excited to share with you that designer and artist Tracy Hall is our new The Designer Project feature artist! The Canberra-based creative combined her natural artistic abilities and hand-drawing techniques with her graphic design skills to create her bespoke business Trace of Colour. Trace of Colour focuses on creating gorgeous surface pattern designs and we couldn’t be more thrilled that Tracy has added a series of her beautifully detailed designs to our Fabric Shop online!

Tracy’s designs are inspired by the beauty found in the everyday and the natural world, and are all hand-drawn before being refined and put into repeat digitally. Tracy’s intricate illustrative style and her affinity for using both neutral and vivid colours creates a body of work which is rich and versatile, with each design telling it’s own story. Below we’ve shared a little bit more about each of the lovingly created designs and the types of projects we imagine them being perfect for – keep reading!

“Bouquet of Dahlias” features soft pom-pom like flower motifs inspired by Tracy’s own patch of dahlias in the garden. Unlike Tracy’s dahlias, these stay in bloom all year round!

We think “Bouquet of Dahlias” would be a fantastic choice for statement decorative cushions.


Tracy’s “Dragonfly” designs are personal favourites for the artist and were inspired by dragonflies zooming around the garden. The design features delicately drawn dragonfly and flower motifs and is available in three colourways “Dancing Dragonflies” (pale blue background), “Dragonfly Garden” (purple flowers) and “Dragonfly Green Garden” (green background).

The “Dragonfly” designs are a perfect choice for a flowy summer dress!

“Brilliant Glowing Jellyfish” is a glorious celebration of vibrant colour and soft magical forms and transports you to an underwater party. The bold design was inspired by Tracy’s fascination with the ocean and its weird and wonderous creatures.

“Brilliant Glowing Jellyfish” would be a fantastic choice for men’s boxer shorts or briefs.


“Maypole Flowers” is a stunningly bright and colourful design which features clusters of quirky bouquets set against an intoxicating vermillion backdrop. The design is a perfect choice for those who love adding colour to their outfit or space.

We think “Maypole Flowers” would be an incredible design to use for swimwear.

“Tapestry of Butterflies” is also inspired by Tracy’s garden and captures the change of the seasons, with flowers beginning to bloom and butterflies fluttering amongst them. The design pairs warm autumnal colours with pops of cyan and blue which gives the artwork a contemporary feel.

We think “Tapestry of Butterflies” could be used to create a gorgeous blouse, swimwear or dress, it also will be great for upholstered footstool or ottoman.

Be swept away by Tracy’s “Tower of Giraffes” design, which features majestic giraffe motifs nestled amongst a deep and brooding background. This a mid to large-scale design with the largest giraffe motif approximately 20cm in length.

“Tower of Giraffes” could be used for a super cute children’s tipi design.

“Lush Tropical Paradise” brings the tropics to you! The very lush design features carefully drawn bird and leaf motifs. The selective use of colour allows for hints of red and pink to really pop against the green rich artwork.

“Lush Tropical Paradise” would be a great choice for halter neck dresses, blouses, jumpsuits.

Tracy’s “Octopus Lace” designs were inspired by a visit to the local aquarium where she was particularly intrigued by the tentacles and underside of the gorgeous creatures. Tracy’s approach to illustrating the octopus motifs results in the intertwining of their tentacles appearing like fine lace. The designs are available in two colourways, “Octopus Lace” (soft pink background) and “Octopus Lace Dark” (rich brown background).

The “Octopus Lace” designs would be a gorgeous choice for tableware, activewear, wide-leg pants, jumpsuit, dresses and tops.

“Tropical Paradise Leaves” is a timeless rendition of a tropical style print with beautifully drawn botanic motifs. Tracy adds pops of pink to the otherwise warm, neutral colour palette which gives the artwork dimension and personality.

We think “Tropical Paradise Leaves” would be a stunning choice for decadent feeling curtains.

“Zebra Heard Stripes” was inspired by a dazzle (herd) of zebras stampeding through a savanna. The result is a fantastic monochrome print which puts a spin on classic striped designs.

“Zebra Heard Stipes” would be a great choice for a co-ordinate two-piece outfit or women’s suit, leggings, board shorts, swimwear, jumpsuit and rashvest.

“By The Light Of The Moon” features intricately drawn moth motifs set against a textured olive green backdrop. If you look closely in the background you can see hints of the moon captured at it’s different phases.

“By The Light Of The Moon” would be an excellent design to use for gorgeously upholstered footstool or ottoman.

We’re over the moon that Tracy is taking part in The Designer Project, with each of the designs show above being available to print onto of our stock fabrics. Simply head to our Fabric Shop, select the design you would like to print and then choose which of our fabrics you would like it printed on – it’s that easy!

Sami Sparrow – The Designer Project

Welcome to my little corner of the world, my name is Sami Sparrow, artist, author and designer. I’m delighted to share my work, process and latest collection “Favourite Things” with you. An extravaganza of fun, cute and character filled designs awaits you. Some hand-painted, all hand-drawn. I’m so thrilled to be teaming up with Digital Fabrics to bring you designs for you to create a more personal project with.

Sami Sparrow in her studio

“Favourite Things” is a collection of just that, a few of my favourite things. This diverse collection has a variety of designs, some created digitally, some painted but all hand-drawn.  I enjoy creating in both styles depending on where the mood takes me. My work is inspired by my eclectic life and love for vintage, bright colours, children’s book illustrations and cute things in general; I like to think this is reflected in each of my designs. When developing this collection I wanted to bring a sense of comfort, homeliness and childhood excitement, with each design telling its own story.

Sami’s creative space

Sami hand-painting watercolour motifs

Behind the scenes in my studio, I take on the ‘more is more’ interior design concept. Being an extremely visual person, I enjoy being surrounded by an assortment of inspirational items that I have been collecting throughout my life and continue to curate on a regular occurrence. From childhood toys and books to vintage, geometric and graffiti works of art, my studio is my temple; my decorated hive; my place of creative oneness.

Selected designs from the “Favourite Things” Collection

“Bugs – Leaf Green” 

Interestingly, I’ve just realised I do not tend to share my creative process very much. So I’ll give you a taste of how my creative brain works. Each of my designs begin with me sitting down and doing a bit of inspirational research. As I said, I’m a very visual person and my eyes love to devour as much content as possible. Colours, shapes, movement and expression are just some of the attributes I will be seeking to recreate with my own style. This also helps me to decide if the design will be hand-painted or digitally drawn.  With sketch book in hand I roughly draft some ideas. Once I have a page filled with concepts I refine my scribbles in another sketch book giving the designs more character and personality. Depending on my desired format, I will either photograph the sketch to re-draw digitally in Procreate, or re-draw on crisp paper and begin painting for an organic finish before scanning and digitally creating the pattern repeat. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to complete.

Sami working on the “Cats and Dogs” design

“Favourite Things” Collection designs bag mockup

An exceptional example of my digital work is “City Scape”. This piece is inspired by the skyscrapers and tall buildings crammed into a small space in cities all across the world. I love the geometric shapes of these buildings and how shadows and light play on the faces of the structures throughout the day. The piece was a great challenge to create and had to be made digitally to get the sharp edges and angles I was looking for. For a beautiful contrast why not use this geometric charm on a flowing dress, skirt or robe.

“City Scape”

“Favourite Things” Collection design mockup

As for hand-painted designs, you cannot go past “Floral Fungi”. This complex smaller scale design sprung to life through my love for the natural world. I’m a long-time admirer of fungi and feel they are just as beautiful as many flowers, so incorporating them with flowers was a natural progression for this creation. I knew I wanted to capture the organic textures left by using watercolour paint as details within both the flowers and fungi, so this design had no chance of going digital until it was time to create the repeat. I feel this design would look stunning as a blouse, cushion or even a shawl.

“Floral Fungi”

“Floral Fungi” robe mockup

“Favourite Things” Collection designs cushion mockup

I’m excited to bring our stories together and see what you create with my designs. From “Cats and Dogs” to “Butterfly Collector” to “Bugs”; “Book Worm” or “Donuts” there is just as many awesome fabric bases to choose from at Digital Fabrics as there are designs to choose. You will only be limited by your imagination for what we could achieve together. Please share your projects with me via Facebook or Instagram, I just can’t wait to see what you make. Thank you so much for your time and happy creating!

Sami in the studio with her fur babies

If you want to collaborate with us on The Designer Project initiative and become part of this creative club, please apply! Send us an email with your portfolio and why you want to be part of this and sure, we will be in touch.

‘Favourite Things’ New Fabric Collection by Sami Sparrow

We couldn’t be more excited to announce that the ultra-talented, Goulburn-based Sami Sparrow is our latest feature artist in The Designer Project. Sami is an artist, author and designer who explores her creativity through illustration, design and painting. Sami’s current creative pursuits include creating cute and vintage inspired illustrations for surface designs, some of which have been made available for our Fabric Shop online – introducing the ‘Favourite Things’ Collection.

Sami’s ‘Favourite Things’ Collection brings together a variety of fun and heart-warming designs inspired by the things the artist loves. The collection features artwork created from watercolour paintings and digital illustrations, balancing rich and muted colours with both soft textures and graphic shapes. Each of the designs have a distinct personality and we have shared some project ideas below for each of the lovingly made prints so keep reading!

‘Indoor Plants’ is inspired by the type of ceramic plates everyone’s nanna had when you were growing up and an adoration of house plants. The small-scale print features motifs painted from Sami’s own collection of plants and are bursting with inky details.

‘Indoor Plants’ would be a fantastic choice for a plush cushion cover, curtains, table or kitchen wear – this surely has someone on your Christmas list sorted!

‘Cityscape’ is inspired by the skycrapers crammed into small spaces seen in cities around the world. The design really captures the way light and shadows play on the hard surfaces and edges of these structures throughout the day.

Strong shapes of the ‘Cityscape’ elements would be the perfect for the power suit or blazer.

‘Dragons’ is inspired by the often misunderstood mythological creature. Sami’s dragon motifs have been carefully hand-painted using watercolours, revealing their cute and sensitive qualities, and are set against a rich charcoal backdrop.

We think the ‘Dragons’ print should be used for a silky set of pajamas or summer bedrobe.

The ‘Floral Fungi’ design is dripping with texture and detail and celebrates fungi illustrations nestled amongst floral illustrations. The small-scale artwork puts a quirky spin on a botanic print.

‘Floral Fungi’ would be perfect for a cute button up shirt with short sleeves or Gypsy style dress.

‘Butterfly Collector’ is reminiscent of a specimen drawer from a natural history museum, proudly presenting a collection of stunningly intricate butterflies. The print is available in two colourways, with the ‘Pink’ colourway mirroring the delicate nature of the motifs whilst the ‘Charoal’ colourway results in a design which feels much more dramatic.

‘Butterfly Collector’ would be a fabulous choice for a long slinky dress with spaghetti straps.

‘Donuts’ is a super fun print with big bold donut motifs and the adorable scattering of sprinkles throughout. ‘Donuts’ is available in two colourways ‘Magenta’ and ‘Purple’ with both feeling playful and vibrant.

‘Donuts’ would be such a fun idea for board or boxed shorts, Hawaiian style shirts for the little ones and big kids alike.

‘Caravan’ is a fun celebration of pastel automotive history and reveals Sami’s love of vintage style prints. The design is available in two colourways, with the ‘Yellow’ looking like a lemon coloured dream and the ‘Grey’ offering a more versatile print.

‘Caravan’ would be a great choice for a quirky a-line skirt.

‘Bugs’ has been created from Sami’s strong curiosity in the natural world, and a particular fondness for the beautiful intricacies found amongst bugs and insects. ‘Bugs’ is available in two colourways ‘Blue’ and ‘Leaf Green’ with each colourway providing a rich colour palette for the vibrant motifs to be set against.

‘Bugs’ could be a fantastic choice for fun table accessories such as table-runners and napkins.

‘Floating Butterflies’ features a variety of beautifully illustrated butterfly motifs which appear to be gracefully flying throughout the design. ‘Floating Butterflies’ is available in three gorgeous colourways ‘Green’, ‘Pink’ and ‘Purple’.

‘Floating Butterflies’ would be a fantastic choice for a formal style hair scarf.

‘Book Worm’ is inspired by Sami’s love of books, with children’s books in particular inspiring many of Sami’s illustrations. This small-scale print is available in two colourways, with the ‘Blue’ colourway offering a fairly monochromatic design whilst the ‘Maroon’ colourway feels more decadent.

‘Book Worm’ would be a really cute print for mens shorts.

‘Cats and Dogs’ is a celebration of our furry friends and allows both cat and dog people to unite! The figurative design is available in two colourways, with the ‘Turquoise’ colourway allowing the motifs to really pop whilst the ‘Lavender’ colouray feels more delicate.

‘Cats and Dogs’ would be a fabulous choice for makeup and cosmetic pouches, tote bags or fun pet accessories.

The suggestions listed above and really just ideas to get your creative juices flowing. The possibility with each of these designs is truly limitless. Each of the designs featured in the ‘Favourite Things‘ Collection are available to print onto any of our gorgeous stock fabric print bases.

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