To experiment with layering in GIMP, I created a quick sketch of color shapes in Paint,
and a quick sketch of 'writing' - this makes me want to go buy a graphic pad + stylus so I can actually draw with a stylus instead of trying to use the mousepad to create writing...
Then I layered the images in GIMP. I made the layers opaque (70%) - just experimenting. And I reversed the grain on the writing so it appears white. My final image:Here is one that I thought covered a lot of basic points but was fast and well-done. That tutorial shows how to make vertical stripes and lay down a banner and other things, complete with Gaussian blurs and shadowing. It's really very exciting. Part of the tutorial showed how to open an image with texture and make that a layer (I used a photo of a cloud):
I'll have to play with it to make the edge-line go away. I made this diagonal striped pattern by following this tutorial, which creates a gradient across the width of the stripe.
These diagonal lines don't tile properly (understandably) in Spoonflower but the mirror feature creates an interesting pattern, quite like a simple log cabin.
I did find this tutorial with a detailed mathematical explanation of how to create rotated (ie diagonal) tileable patterns. I'm going to have to give that a go one of these days. It looks like someone created a plug-in from the instructions. I haven't downloaded any plug-ins yet, I'm still familiarizing myself with the basics.
I was thinking about using repeats of a basic shape to create another design. I made this quick sketch of hearts in a circle.
Then I drafted a PatchDraw Motif block in EQ6, moved the motif to the block tab, and set the blocks into a simple 3x3 on-point quilt layout with the border removed. Here is a cropped shot of the 'quilt':