Cultural Tech-Fusion Fabrics

I have found an interesting freeware tool that enables one to create a color palette from a photo.

Below, a fusionwear sv image submission by Matthew  Ebisu is taken into this software and  I selected five colors from the available palette range. You can see my selection of five colors in the bottom row. The color palette to the right is generated by Photocopa.  I will be using this tool to define the color palettes of the digital textiles I am crating for the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. This is one more way to integrate publicly submitted images of Silicon Valley into the textile designs.

This has a very clean interface and the website has many forums, links and tools relating to color palettes...a very useful resource for any designer.
I am beginning to carefully look through the image submission to the Flickr group pool of the fusionwear sv project and am looking at images I would like to draw upon in my textiles. Since the inception of this project, I knew I wanted an aerial view of the Alviso salt ponds and Simon Phipps was gracious enough to submit his amazing photo below.
Copyright Simon Phipps
I took his photo and flipped in several directions to make a seamless tile.
Study A
Below I created a repeat tile pattern in Photoshop. I don't envision using the Study B pattern. Instead, for this fabric I envision using the above Study A pattern as a very very large print. I have learned tips on how to generate large scale prints at the very useful Spoonflower Flickr group discussion site.

Within this Study A print I will add subtle cultural motifs created in Illustrator. These will be lighter in value, but similar in hues. I envision an image scale similar to those highlighted this Wall Street Journal article (May 20, 2010): Are You Wearing a Watercolor?.
Study B
This pattern will reflect onCultures reaching in and reaching out. Cultural motifs are structured within graphic patterns referencing aerial views of salt ponds and containing ponds of the Bay. Salt ponds and electronic waste ponds isolate water born compounds and concentrate them. These ponds can serve as a metaphor for how cultures blend and do not blend in Silicon Valley. In Santa Clara as elsewhere, cultures are sometimes isolated into neighborhoods, concentrating an ethnic group apart from the broader community. When these walls break down, when people move in and out of enclaves, blending begins. Public schools and work places are locations of much of this cultural interchange and blending here in Silicon Valley. Sections of the fabric will show cultural motifs contained in walled forms and sections of fabric will show the breaking of walled forms and the blending of various cultural elements swirling together in a larger area.

Not all of my textiles will incorporate photos in this way. From some images I will extract small element by sketching them on paper, scanning, rendering in Illustrator and then taking them into Photoshop to create the pattern.  I will have samples of this process soon and will detail all source images and components in the Museum display signage.
It was a good idea on paper, but adding in the cultural motifs dilutes the image too much. I think I will be sticking to just using the image tiled.