Posts from the beaks of Meg’s bird characters

A Year of Exploring Surface Pattern Design!

showing a collection of Pattern Designs, vector, created by Meg Marchiando
my first complete vector collection using illustrator

A full year of exploring Surface Pattern Design!

Today Aug 27th marks 1 year since I made my first repeat pattern. You can read how that came about in my post ‘I’m going for Good Enough’ all of 7 posts ago… I was feeling like I wasn’t moving fast enough and I’m still fairly unfocused at this point, but then I saw that I’ve only been at this for a year… I think I can cut myself some slack.

I had such good intentions of sharing the journey of becoming a surface pattern designer! I have been so deep in the process I forgot to write about it!

It’s been a pretty intense year. I’ve gone from having a vague idea of how to become a Surface Pattern Designer to becoming one. Originally the plan was to be a textile designer but the path I’ve taken has led me to so much more than textiles. 

In December 2018, after 4 months of learning only on youtube and skillshare, I decided to take a course and see if this is what I really wanted to do. I signed up for a class with Make it in Design out of the UK. They opened my eyes wide on many of the  directions I could go with this change of medium for my artwork, and I was ready to dive in. I’m still working through their classes learning more about finding my style, following trends, marketing my work. I’m loving every minute of it!

In the beginning I struggled with my lack of skills in Adobe Illustrator. Somehow I was lucky enough to stumble upon Oksancia on Youtube who gave short but extremely helpful blips on how to work with Illustrator. I finished up my first Make it in Design class then decided I would spend some time learning how to really use Illustrator well. Magically, at the same time, Oksana opened up her Pattern it Up course and I decided that would be a better way to learn than to stumble around trying to figure it out on my own. That was April of 2019. It was the best decision I could have made. Her course was amazing and catapulted my new career ahead years. In the past 4 months I have gone from not knowing how to control the pen in illustrator to creating over 25 new repeat pattern and putting them up for sale on Spoonflower and with Microstock agencies. I’ve even made a few sales already!

Not bad for a years work really.


busy busy busy

I am neglecting everything I ‘should’ be doing and learning illustrator. The more I learn the more I love it! I hope to be churning out some patterns with Illustrator soon, I am absolutely loving the process of learning and knowing I’m putting my time to good use. Here are some practice bits that took me far longer than they look like they should have.

This time of year, for the last 4 years, I’ve also waded hip deep into costume making for a theater production. This year I’m responsible for dressing the orphans for a production of Annie. That means 7 nightgowns, 7 day dresses with smocks and bloomers and 6 simple party dresses. I thought I had it all under control but then I looked at the calendar… I have about 2 weeks to get that worked out (fortunately we got a bunch of that worked out at thrift stores). At the end of the month my daughter and I are headed East for a crazy intense week of college visits. No time to breath between now and April gotta go.

Fortunately I have a quilting retreat planned mid april where I hope I’ll recover and get a second wind. So much good stuff going on!

Patterns everywhere

black and white pattern with lots of circles on a little wallet
fun little find

I spent the day shopping for costumes for a theater production of Annie with the head Costumer yesterday(the person with the big vision for the shows costumes and skills/talent for sewing amazing costumes). I get suckered in every year to do some sewing for the winter production (I love it so I’m not sure you can call it ‘suckered’). We hit as many thrift stores as we could find. I had expected to spend the day multi tasking, looking for costumes and observing patterns. I had planned to take photos of patterns I liked so I could analyze them when I got home. Trying to find my voice in pattern making includes finding what excites me in other peoples work.

We did an amazing job finding costumes and staying on budget. I, however, did a terrible job finding patterns. Two patterns are all that I brought home with me. I was very focused on the costumes for the orphans in Annie and they were solid dingy fabric mostly. I took one photo of a pattern on a shirt I sort of liked and I found this cute little purse. I checked the purse to see that my pens would fit in and I laid down an entire .53 cents for it. When I got home I went to transfer my usual pen collection over and discovered my Tombow Marker is a bit long :0). I’m calling it easy access and going with it. It was a fun day with a friend and I’m sure I fed my brain lots of inspiration that I’m not even aware of.

It’s Not all Glamour and Glitz

lines of elements from doodling including circles, swirls, dots and lines as well as an evergreen branch and a dandelion puff

I was going to write a whole post about all the work I did over the weekend but I came across this quote from Jessica Savich and thought it did a pretty good job of summing up what I had to say. So Thank You Jessica Savich.. This post took under 15 minutes :0)

For every two minutes of glamour, there are eight hours of hard work.

-Jessica Savich

What’s this? no Bud in the picture?

Hi all,

I’m a bit confused. Meg spent the day in the studio today but she never touched any fabric or consulted with me on her next project. I was just stuck hanging out on her design wall trying to look over her shoulder to see what she was doing on her computer.

I know she recently got a call for entry to submit artwork related to ‘transportation’ so I’m thinking finally she’s going to build that portal to NH I’ve been bugging her about since I came to be. I want to go see that crazy family of hers and some other traveling.

But there on the screen I see some wheels, well, I can’t imagine a portal needs wheels. But wait… what’s that? an old red wagon? seriously? you can’t get anywhere on that thing. That would be a long uncomfortable ride to New Hampshire from Idaho.


Boys playing with a red wagon. Boy in wagon wearing goggles and a cape, ready to fly in the wagon. Another boy pushes from behind

I personally think she should have consulted me, but that’s what she’s planning on submitting for the Transportation exhibit – which is dangerously close to being due btw.

She finally finished that commission for the picnic piece. I do love it but I think a little bird rather than the little fox would have been a nice touch.

Until next week…

Bud the Bird.

woman and boy reading a book on a blanket with a stuffed toy fox

Making Patterns with Artwork Fun!

Megs artwork put digitally on and in a notebook

Oh drat!  I was supposed to get this out yesterday… ok, new news?  Meg thinks it would be super fun if she went into the store and saw her art on stuff for sale, like notebooks, mugs or napkins or other stuff. I agree, as long as it’s me.  Can you see it? Bud the bird right there in the bottom of your cereal bowl! Ha! How great would that be?  

Over the last couple of weeks Meg has been working on learning how to create patterns with her artwork, playing with some watercolor sketches she made a long time ago. That’s what todays picture is, a mock up of what it would look like if she put her stuff on a notebook. She wants to design her own fabric so she can make art with her own fabric. (she does like to complicate things.)

This could quickly become complicated and probably boring. The short story is, if she designs her own fabric and makes her work with her own fabric she can do whatever she wants with it without worrying about copyright – did you know that all that fabric is designed by artists? Those patterns are their artwork. I am so excited about the creation of her own fabric. I may just have to molt, redesign my own feathers so I can look like one of her pattern.  What do you think… should I stay gray? 

Bud Interviews Meg

It's come to our attention the newsletter sign up isn't always working... we are putting a condensed version of the newsletter for you to enjoy here. The newsletter had more pictures.

Fabric bird on artists shoulder

Bud: I have Meg Marchiando here with me today.  She is an artist who makes happy fabric art. She used to run a website but she was bad at it, so I run it now.

Meg: nice Bud.

Bud: Right, So Meg, how old are you?

Meg: uh, um it’s not going to be a normal interview is it?  My daughter says I’m 4 and she’s pretty smart so I’m going with 4.

Bud: And, ahh, what’s in your purse?

Meg:  Bud, some general rules.. don’t ask someone’s age (particularly a woman’s) and don’t go through someones purse

Bud: particularly a woman’s?


Bud: So, you told me how old you are.. what’s in the purse?

Meg: OK.. umm A rubber duck, my library card, my license

Bud: but you’re 4. you can’t drive – and hey- can I see the duck?  What else?

Meg: pulls out velcro pen pencil fingernail file…

Bud: Booring… show me the good stuff

Meg: Lip gunk, a broken glasses repair kit, water brush a 6 sided die travel toothbrush hair tie punch card for chocolate bear watercolor set phone

Bud:  ok, enough.  How about your bottom dresser drawer?  what do you have in there?

Meg: My bottom dresser drawer? are you trying to make this an interesting interview or are you just nosey?

Bud: mostly Beaky (no nose here), but I also want to be know for asking the ‘hard’ questions

Meg: wool socks and sweaters.

Bud: Sweet, now I know where to go for nesting supplies

Meg talking with Bud who is sitting on a puffy fabric chair on top of a stack of books
Bud still perched in his groovy girl chair Meg looking justifiably exasperated

Bud: is cereal soup?

Meg: No

Bud: But I’ve seen you put potato in a bowl with lots of milk and call it soup, what’s the difference?

Meg: there are herbs and spices in with the potato

Bud: so if you put cinnamon on your cereal it’s soup

Meg: sure, that’s a fair argument

Bud: great! well, thats it folks, Today you saw Meg tell her secrets, spill her purse and crumble under the hard question of what is soup. Until next time. 

– Bud the Bird ..  

ok, let me see that duck again.

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