books & resources
There are not a wealth of books specifically on designing fabric patterns. But there are a good number of books on pattern and learning to see and create effective designs. So far this is what I've come up with. As always, I encourage you to test these books before you commit to them. Each one has it's own unique valuable qualities.
A Field Guide to Fabric Desing by Kimberly Kight is a comprehensive informational resource for the aspiring or want to be fabric designer. Kimberly walks the reader through all the elements from how to design, types of repeats, sizes and how to deal with the edges of the motif, to coloring your work and a basic tutorial on using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to design repeats. She also covers hand printing, and includes a variety of other topics that are helpful to know and that will likely need to be considered at some point in the creating process, like fabric type for example.
Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design by Laurie Wisbrun is in many ways similar to A Field Guide to Fabric Design in that it walks the reader through the steps in creating fabric designs. Design types are covered, color, using Illustrator or Photoshop, hand printing fabric is also covered. There are some extras but not as much as in Kight's book. I do however, think Wisbrun covers how to handle the edges of the motif in a much clearer way than Kight. I tried Kight's explanation and it didn't work but Wisbrun's explanation made sense immediately.
Color and Pattern by Khristian A. Howell is less an education and more about finding creativity. I found the patterns to be incredibly inspiring in and of themselves. Many of them struck me as unusual, think outside the box patterns that got my creative juices flowing.