Design ChallengeThree: Alice Murphy


Sweet Sunset / 10″ x 10″


Sweet Sunset / Detail


Sweet Sunset / colour coordinates

This was a strange challenge for me. I don’t really have a house/home to look out of at the moment. The room I am sleeping in was my childhood bedroom and although it doesn’t feel like my house anymore, in a way it will always be home. It also has an amazing view over Brisbane city and the surrounding mountains (which I couldn’t fit into my viewfinder but referenced in my print). I can think of far worse places to end up.


view from my bedroom window

The photo I picked for this challenge is very powerful to me. Not because it is a great photo (lets face it, it it pretty terrible and obviously taken through a mosquito net using a phone camera) but because this is a view that was a constant in my life for the first 22 years. When I look at it, I see much more than buildings, sky and trees. It reminds me of summers spent in the garden picking flowers with friends, sleeping outside when it was too hot to sleep inside and watching the fireworks over the city on new years eve. When I was a teenager if I was upset I’d sit in my room and look out over the mountains and city and everything would somehow seem better.


older panoramic image of the view including mountains

Since this is my childhood home I went back to my childhood for this challenge. A few weeks ago I stumbled on a book about the art of Eric Carle in the library and was smitten. I adored the Very Hungry Caterpillar as a child and it is still my favourite children’s book. I also love incorporating hand painted textures into my patterns so I got to work experimenting with tissue paper.


painted tissue paper

The days are getting shorter here and the sunsets becoming more and more intense as it gets cooler. I love the colours over the city at sunset, especially those last few moments were the colours pop against the darkening sky and used this as my colour inspiration. I also wanted to make a print for the adult me as well as the child so went with a more muted palette in the end.

I also went back and did a floral again this round. What can I say? I love florals. I also really love being in a home with a garden and flowers again after years of apartment dwelling.


exploring the garden

I’m still getting my head around quilting and decided to see what this pattern might look like chopped up into strips. I think these were about 2″ strips but it was getting late into the night when I was playing with it so who knows!


striped quilting block

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6 comments on “Design ChallengeThree: Alice Murphy

  1. I really love your design and colour choice. I want it on fabric! You pulled it together and did a fab job!

    • Alice Murphy on said:

      Thanks Beck. It still didn’t work the way I had in my mind, but I am pleased with the outcome. I’m nervously awaiting the elimination this week, there are some really interesting and exciting entries this round.

  2. I love your rich color palette! Very sophisticated.

    • Alice Murphy on said:

      Thanks Darci. Love that you are also taking on the challenges on your blog and we both did a floral this around :)

      Congratulations on being selected in the Fabric8 contest too. I hope you go far.

  3. Sweet chevron effect with your repeat. Great colors!! Love your total hands on approach to the flowers!–I so appreciate the art of Eric Carle also!!

    • Alice Murphy on said:

      Thank you for your comments Terri.

      I can’t believe I didn’t tweek that Eric Carle was using tissue paper until I picked up that book. It almost feels like I’ve discovered paint for the first time!

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