Sugar Skull Planning

My two daughters both like sugar skulls, so I thought to surprise them with some embroidery- maybe on a shirt or the back of a jacket? These pillows I saw in a museum gift shop helped inspire me!

What design to use? The internet has about a zillion answers to a search for sugar skull image- even some purchase-able embroidery patterns. But I generally like to make my own designs, unless I am trying a new technique.

I thought about drawing a design of my own- but I am not a good sketcher. It takes me a long time to get proportions right- and even then, I never get things quite symmetric. Aha! I’ll go back to the anatomy books, thought the retired ENT surgeon that I am.


Here’s a photo from an anatomy book, with different colors for the different bones making up the skull.

I’m learning Adobe Illustrator (AI), and seeing more and more uses for it in my fabric adventures. Here is the skull placed into AI, cropped of the anatomy labels.

Here it is dimmed to about 30% opacity.

And here it is, printed out.

I’ll make a few of these to experiment with different designs and motifs. One I get a few designs that I like, I’ll add them to this website as downloadable PDFs for anyone else who might like to use them!

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