Designing a Calendar

This week brought another first… I designed my first Calendar Tea Towel! I’ve seen them many times, but never thought I’d design one of my own… until another Spoonflower Challenge. This week, Voting is just beginning for the Spoonflower Tea Towel Calendar Challenge. The photo below shows what I ended up with. Calendar 2020 Blue Crocus Pink and Pale.

Blue Crocus Pink and Pale tea towel calendar designed by Sue Andrus
Click Here for Tea Towel Calendar Challenge Voting

This was a very time consuming project. Spoonflower provided templates for the size needed and a calendar with the months and days. The calendar template was in a simple font that just didn’t feel right for my style, so I used it as a guide for the correct layout of the days of each month . I started by typing the text in a new layer over the template in my favorite font. I soon found that when I typed all the numbers in a row as one block of text, I couldn’t get spacing right. I then put each number on a separate layer so I could use the align and distribute tasks to help in getting rows straight and numbers spaced evenly. Many hours of typing, copying, pasting and rearranging later, I had the base calendar done (If an eagle eye found the poor spacing in a month above, it was fixed for the final file). Then I needed to figure out what to do next. I had an idea in my head of doing a wreath of flowers around the calendar, so I started looking through flower photos and sketches.

Flower sketches by Sue Andrus
Random Colored Flower Sketches
Ginkgo leaf sketches by Sue Andrus
Ginkgo Leaf Sketches

I started with the Ginkgo leaf sketches. I pulled the individual leaves out of the image and softened them and changed color a bit. I pulled the blue flowers from the group of flower sketches. I think the blue flowers were meant to be Snow Glories that bloom with abandon outside our front door, but when I started working with them, they reminded me of a photo of Blue Crocus I was lusting after in a bulb catalog a while back. After “cutting” the flowers and leaves out of the image, I cleaned them up and softened them a bit. Once I had my leaves and flowers out of their original images and saved in separate files, I pulled them into the tea towel template and began arranging.

Pale Pink Ginkgo Sunprint Allover

Since I like the color pink, I decided to work with one of my sunprints of Ginkgo leaves for the backgrounds. The image I began with is the Light Pink Ginkgo Allover, which is available now printed on fabrics and more at Spoonflower. I played with the color and ended up with the very pale pink in the other photo above for the main outer area of the towel. I used a deeper shade and softened the sunprints for behind the calendar in the center. Now that the calendar is done, I need to see what I can come up with for yardage, since this design only really works printed as a fat quarter.

Random groups of flowers and Ginkgo leaves

The above photo shows some random groups of flowers and leaves in the process of being arranged to become designs for yardage or wallpaper, and more. We’ll see where it goes from here. I’m not sure I’ll have an entry for next weeks challenge since the theme involves hand lettering… not something I have worked with.


I am a former textile artist and new pattern designer with a degree in horticulture, wishing to share my love of nature, flowers and gardens with everyone through my photos, sunprinted fabrics, and now pattern designs. Chronic Lyme Disease has caused major changes to the direction my life. I have to limit the amount of time spent digging in my gardens, and quilting has become more difficult. I discovered pattern design as a way to get art back into my life. I now use my gardens and photos to inspire designs that can be used on fabrics and print on demand items.

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