Nov 02, 2011

Amy Atlas’ Pattern Board for Design & Styling


Did you ever walk into a store and see a pattern on a tunic, rug, or lamp shade, but didn’t know the name of the pattern? That used to happen to me all the time {and still does sometimes} and it would really frustrate me, especially when I wanted to incorporate a similar style onto a party or sweets table. What was the four-sided design that looked like a clove called?   Eventually I learned it was quatrefoil, but for some time I called it “that clove pattern.”  Because I didn’t study art in school, I had to learn about patterns on my own. In fact, when I was making the transition from lawyer to the creative world, I looked high and low for a book or articles on patterns and couldn’t find anything.  Hours in the textile, fashion and interior sections of Barnes & Noble seemed futile.  Doesn’t that seem crazy?  Nothing?  If you guys know of a source, feel free to speak up!

Since I didn’t find anything and since many of you are like me {have a sense of style without the background}, I thought I’d create a design-pattern bible/glossary to help identify patterns. Think of this as your go-to tool for identifying patterns. For those who do have a design background, I think it will be helpful for you guys as well {as an FYI..none of our trained designers knew what “that clove pattern” was called either}. For this board, I’ve picked a bunch of designs that have been shown over and over again in fashion and interior textiles.  There are many variations of all of the designs above by designers, but we designed our own versions. For patterns that are iconic to a particular brand, we’ve called out those designers above.  We didn’t even step into the florals yet…stay tuned for another board on that. In the meantime, feel free to use this little pattern bible for inspiration with decorating desserts, sweets table styling, party styling, interiors or fashion.  Make sure to read the copy under each, as I give tips on how to use each pattern with color and scale.

I hope this is helpful for you all.  I know I would have wanted something like this a few years back!  Please also feel free to re-link, pinterest, tweet, or Facebook the board.  We only ask that you make sure to link back to us for credit. Happy designing!  xo-Amy and Team


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  • Erin G.

    This is brilliant!

  • This is such a great tool! I took some textile classes in school, but this is a great resource to have all in one place! Thanks for putting it together. It looks great!

  • Wonderful presentation – AGAIN!
    Thank you for sharing!

  • I just love this! My personal style is basically nailed down within the first three lines 🙂

  • Hi,

    Thanks for this i never new some of these designs offical names!, i am working on a moroccan (or quarterfoil ) and chevron design at the moment!


  • Love this … printing it out for my inspiration board as I type. Thank you !
    XO Lisa

  • This is ridiculously useful!

  • Amy- what a brilliant idea! It’s so true, if you don’t have the extensive design background, these patterns can be hard to master. I definitely will be using the resource in the future, thank you so much!

  • Amy

    Great collection of patterns & explanations. Here’s another online resource of pattern terminology:

  • Dulce Sobremesa

    Wonderful and, as always, it is so kind of you to share!!! Thank you!

  • This is FABULOUS!! Thanks so much for generously sharing!!

  • Fabulous! This will come in so handy! Great work + many thanks!!

  • This is a wonderful resource! It’s nice to know the definitive names to all these beautiful patterns that we come across everyday. Thank you!

  • Fanastic, thanks so much! great resource!

  • Awesome resource. I’ve been calling “Rising Suns” the fish scale pattern. Now I have the proper name. LOL

  • Suzanna mon tresor

    Thanks so much Amy what a fabulous resource! Xo

  • How fun! I know most of them because I did a lot research. I keep learning from the incredile designers out there.
    I learned about the quatrefoil not too long ago 🙂
    I will share it on my Pinterest for sure.
    Thank you so much for sharing!What an incredible useful board!You’re the best period!

  • Fabulous!

  • Ceara

    Thank you!!!!!!! I have been compiling one of these for years but it is so nice to have it all in one place! And I can’t wait for the floral one!

  • Lisa

    So funny, I have been looking for a “quatrefoil” rug for a year, and only learned the word “quatrefoil” 2 days ago (thanks, Pinterest!) – I was calling it “clover pattern!” Thanks for the tips & cheat sheet!

  • Two words. . .Thank. You. 🙂

  • This is so great. I couldn’t help but share on my own blog. Thanks!

  • Thanks for creating and sharing such a fabulous resource! I have a folder full of clippings of patterns but to have them all on one sheet is perfect! x

  • This a fantastic resource. Thanks for sharing!

  • I literally JUST googled around yesterday trying to find the name for quatrefoil. This is so helpful!

    ~Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One

  • THANK YOU! What a GREAT tool we can all use! I want to print it and hang it up by my desk!

  • Sarah

    i am obsessed!

  • Dalia

    Amy, you are the best!!! If feels like I just got a long-needed art lesson, since I too, didn’t know the names of many of these patterns.
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing source of information!
    So useful and so helpful!!!

  • Loving your generosity, Amy! When you posted the quatrefoil the other day, I had to laugh. It was very similar to the pattern of my childhood (1970s) bedroom, but I never knew what it was called. Mystery resolved! 🙂 Wishing you the best in the upcoming holiday season.

  • This is amazing and wonderful Amy. Thank you for sharing.

  • Fabulous reference. I’m a graphic designer who works with a team of other designers (graphic and interior) and I forwarded it on immediately.

    Question: What’s the difference between a jacquard and damask? How is damask different? Any insight?

  • Thanks for this I just pinned it to my Pinterest!

  • Thank you for sharing…..

  • Amy, Love this!!

    I have a question. I have an Envirosax bag and I love the design on it. I, of course, see the same variation of that design a lot of other places, but I have no idea what it is called.

    Here is the bag. The shot of the bag alone is probably the best.

    Would love to know the name. I plan to repaint the Envirosax bag, color scheme and all in a larger scale.

    Put your awesome board on Pinterest!! Thanks so much, Laurie

  • This is soooo awesome!!! Thank you!!! :o)

  • Such a smart tool. Much appreciated, especially coming from a non-design background!

  • AMYYYYY!!!!

    Can you say GIGANTICALLY BRILLIANT… I guess I just mean it’s beyond brilliant. I love this fabulous resource!

    Thank you!

  • Fabulous!!! There are almost no words for how incredible this is! Instantly in love with this amazing tool! Thank you!!

  • A {pay it forward} resource THANK YOU for posting! I am working with a Bride right now who in design is using quatrefoil~ in pink gray and ivory! [A]mazing! Best, Kymberlee

  • This is brilliant. Well done.

  • Nichole

    Thank you so much! This is awesome!!

  • Has usual… You are amazing! LOVE this little bible/tool. Thank you soo very much for sharing your knowledge with us 🙂 XOXO

  • Any- have you considered having this made into a poster for resale? I’d buy one and hang it in my studio! It’s colorful and functional!

  • Perfect, colorful, creative and magic! Love it!

  • pestelorrine

    for for less with confident

  • this is a great tool! Thanks for sharing it with all of us! Pinned it to our pattern board!

  • Thanks Amy!
    Incredibly helpful. Up it goes on my Pinterest pattern board….


  • SO HANDY!! Thank you so much. Just found this today on Pinterest, and I’m not sure how I missed it before, but I’ll love you forever for making this. Going to print it out and put on my bulletin board. Is this going in your book? From the shape it would make the perfect thing to put on one of the dust jacket flaps!

  • This is such a wonderful collection of patterns. Thanks!

  • Jasveen Sahota

    Wonderful, wonderful work.

  • Adrian Allred

    These are amazing, love the bright colors! You are so talented and I love this post! 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing Amy! This is very helpful as I LOVE patterns and can never think of the names. 😉 This is definitely going on my pinterest boards.

  • Beautifully done! I’d add another…the rising sun is also fish scale when it is upside down.

  • Thank you for this reference – extremely helpful! I love to draw and these are great patterns for inspiration.

  • Celina Bough

    It seems that these are the important things to look when travelling. In my case, battery life is a big issue and i have to be repeatedly charged my phone during travelling. For solving this issue, i have installed battery life saving application which runs my battery to some extend and i really like it.