Fractalicious

Have you ever noticed how many natural things have beautiful patterns to them?  Maybe it's a coastline or maybe it's the inside of a sunflower, but there is no denying that there are many amazing sights to behold in our world.  Or maybe you just love those hippie-ish tapestries that have the cool circular, colorful patterns on them.  Either way, they all remind me of these things my dad puts together called "fractals".

My dad is a computer programmer, and on his own time, for fun, he wrote a program for himself that generates these fractals.  He types in equations, then the program evaluates them on the complex number plane (non-real numbers - you might remember learning about "i", the square root of -1, in high school at some point).  Depending on what the complex numbers do at each point of this plane, the program puts a dot of color at each point, and out come these AMAZING looking designs.  Often I notice that they look like real-life objects.  My mom likes to call anything that resembles a fractal very "fractilian".

Several months ago, I stumbled across this amazing website where you can get custom fabric printed.  Spoonflower lets independent artists post their own designs which other users can purchase, or you can upload your own designs.  My dad has always thought that his fractals would look just wonderful printed on fabric, so when I showed him this website, he was thrilled.  We ended up getting a couple yards of two different fractals and surprised my mom with some fractilian scarves for Thanksgivukkah.

My mom's birthday was mid-April, and Mother's Day just came and went, so he and I decided to make a few more scarves for a big combined gift.  I wanted to share my process and a pictures of the finished products with you all.

The pattern itself for the scarves I made her is super simple, and I think could be easily modified to suit any personal preferences in scarves.  My mom loves huge, drapey scarves, so I took two yards of fabric, folded it in half (long ways, so my folded rectangle was 2 yd x ½ the width of the fabric), making sure the wrong sides were facing out, and used a few pins to keep things in place. Then I stitched up almost the whole thing. I left a hole that my hand could fit through, so I could pull it right side out and make sure the corners looked good.  I then used a simple straight stitch to sew up the remaining few inches, using a color thread that matched as well as possible.  It can be hard to find one that is absolutely perfect because there is so much color going on, but because it's only a few inches right on an edge, I don't worry too much about it.

And voila, you have a scarf!  The first scarf ever I made I used cheaper fabric from Joann's - the Spoonflower fabric is a bit expensive (but completely worth every penny), so I wanted to try the method out on something that I could more easily replace and not cry over if I messed up.  Sewing is a relatively new hobby for me, so I feel better when I can practice a bit first.


Put in pictures to go with the steps

Put in pictures of each of the final products and talk about the type of fabric

Put in a picture of all the scarves hanging

Put in sketch of pattern and advice on how to modify it

Put in links!