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How to Design and Print a Half Drop Repeating Pattern

How to Design and Print a Half Drop Repeating Pattern

A half drop is a great way of creating a repeating pattern where the repeat is slightly obscured. It can make for a less gridded-looking structure and add complexity to your design. Here's a simple, analogue way to make one.

Start by drawing around your block. We are using MasterCut.

Draw part of your design in the centre of your template.

Cut out your template. Label the corners 1 – 4 and cut your template in half as seen below.

Swap over the two halves to looks like this:

Cut the right half in two horizontally.

Swap these two pieces so your numbered pieces are in the order pictured below. This step creates your half drop.

Tape your pieces together on the back. Draw the rest of your design over the middle to fill the space.

When you are happy with your design, trace it with a soft pencil onto tracing paper and transfer it onto your block.

Use your lino tools to carve out the white areas of your block.

When it’s fully carved, ink up your block. We used a VersaCraft fabric ink pad. We love these because they can be printed onto almost any surface and they’re washable on fabric!

If printing onto fabric, pin the fabric onto a padded surface. Place your block in the top left corner of your fabric. An arrow on the back helps to make sure it’s always up the right way. Press the back of the lock with the flat of your hand to print.

Place your next print directly below the first.

The next row needs to be placed half a block down from the first row. The top of our block matches up at the top of the large circle, where the design meets. This helps us to place our block.

Continue this row directly down from this point.

Continue printing in this way until all of your fabric is covered. For the top and bottom edges of your fabric, some prints will have to overlap the edge of the fabric. To get a neat edge, place a piece of scrap paper to mask off the area you don’t want printed (i.e. the edges of your fabric or the kitchen table).

To set your print, wait for the ink to dry and then iron it on the hottest setting appropriate for the fabric until the print feels too hot to comfortably touch.

Our final half drop repeat pattern:

To block print a repeat pattern you will need:

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