Post your ideas for upcoming Fabric Of the Week contest themes!

NOV 2, 2009 updated Apr 26, 2021

Last time we solicited ideas for themes to use in our Fabric Of the Week contest, lots of folks weighed in with great suggestions. For the next couple of days, I'd love to open up the comment thread one more time to see if we can gather even more good ideas. What do you think? What should our next contest theme consist of?

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  • Steampunk is becoming a huge up and coming trend, so some fabrics I’d love to see is:
    Gears & Cogs
    Old Keys/padlocks
    clocks/pocket watches
    steampowered machinery or parts

  • I really enjoyed having colour restrictions for the last one, as I think that restrictions make things more creative – they make me think ‘outside of the box’. I also like the comments about doing things perhaps with a hand-done, painterly quality.
    Here are my ideas:
    Purely geometric – no representational artwork allowed
    Stained glass windows as inspiration
    Something based on a historical culture for it’s inspiration – for example:
    Egyptian art
    Renaissance patterns
    Greek architecture
    I’m sure there are many more to think of!
    Rachael I like your peacocks idea I have already done one of those and so have a few other people!

  • Vegetables. Snowflakes. Dog Breeds. Tattoos. Slogans. Playing cards. Ice Cream. Cocktails. The Forties. The Fifties. The Sixties. The Seventies. Kaleidoscope. Ocean. Asia. India. Rock and Roll. Birds. Technology. Paris. Sleepytime. Bells. Optical Illusion. Magic. Umbrellas.
    Music. Mythology. California. Happiness.

  • How about a Toile? I believe it is a one color line drawing. I saw a Mary Englebright fabric and thought I would like to try that. A contest might gtet me to actually do it. I also like the idea of fabric panels for, perhaps, aprons, hats, vests, or anything. I also like Mother Goose themes.

  • how about optical illusions? That could include moire patterns, rabbit/duck reversals, escher like symmetries, and lots more fun in that category.

  • Why hasn’t anyone suggested motorcycles? I live with a group of macho guys who live, breath and dream MOTORCYCLES…. retro and speed – dirt and street – crotch rocket and Harley… very male. Much off the path of peacocks and gnomes… MACHO!

  • last night while waiting to fall asleep I began to think of spoonflower topics (LOL! you know you’re addicted when that starts happening!) and I thought of bugs too!
    another idea is to post a poem, or even song lyrics and have everyone interpret them in their own way.
    the calendar idea is pretty nifty too.

  • I have been looking for a really great unicorn fabric and all of the ones I have found are either really cheesy or way to childish. I think mystic or fantasy creatures would be a great theme – because there isn’t enough of that kind of stuff out there.
    Woodland creatures is another idea.
    or peacocks – not just birds but peacocks those are beautiful birds.
    and trees is my last idea I will post. I am thinking more realistic trees than kind of cartoony there are a lot of those kind of fabrics but few where the trees are realistic.

  • How about a “sign” theme? You could specify road signs or let people get creative with all kinds of signs… signs of the zodiac, sign language, etc.

  • How about a sewing pattern challenge, where the fabric needs to include all needed pieces, seam allowance AND short instructions on 1 yard?
    Preferrably with a broader time frame, so that I can actually order a yard in advance and sew it up… I’m in Germany, and would have loved doing that for the dolls – but production and shipping just takes too long.
    Calendar is a good one, too! Preferrably a fat quarter challenge then? Just make sure to narrow things down enough… specify it is meant to be sewn into a calendar, not some etheral interpretation of the seasons etc.
    Loved the very, very narrow fish them for that matter, though I didn’t have time this week. But the doll panel wasn’t specific enough… most designs were unfit to be actually sewn into… well… dolls.

  • Lots of good ideas here! I too love the idea of using specific colors within the specific theme. Here are some more ideas off of the top of my head –
    School related
    *alphabet or maybe a subject like history or science
    *a specific grade – like kdg! Lots of ideas could go here 🙂
    A state
    A place
    *in the kitchen
    *in the bathroom
    *in the ___________(fill in the blank)
    A time of day like morning, afternoon, night time etc.

  • I like the ideas you are honing in on Stephen (building around an image/celestial … moon, stars). When you first posted asking for ideas I thought a theme for making designs with a painterly quality would be interesting and challenging. A combination of these makes me think of the word ethereal (extremely delicate/light/heavenly/spiritual).

  • I really liked the narrow fish theme – it’s great to see all the different designs come from such aspecified criteria – maybe more of those? Some other suggestions:
    – faeries, gnomes & other enchanted things
    – elements: earth, wind, fire, air (together or consecutive weeks)
    – certain hobbies: sewing/soapmaking/horseback riding/etc.
    – herbs & spices
    – music
    – virtues: hope/charity/etc.

  • I think mirror repeats are fun, but tricky to make look balanced and interesting. So, I’d love to see a mirror repeat challenge, although that alone is too broad, so you’d have to narrow it down more. Maybe throw in another color requirement, or starting image, or, say – mirror repeats and paisleys.

  • Fun. Let’s see. For Fall you can do leaves, corn, or pilgrims & indians.
    For something fun you can do penguins, the word Fun or mustaches.
    And 3 random items from my purse… Music (the ipod), puzzles (sudoku) and stamps (which actually I lack but need desparetly).
    Can’t wait to see what you pick.

  • I love the idea of harvest items, autumnal things like leaves and bare trees, things centered on ideas of abundance, like bread baking…..

  • My current favorite idea is to offer an image — a photo, probably — and to invite designs to be built around the image.