I'm a big fan of patterned walls — I've even tried my own hand at a few projects. I've always stuck to using a stencil but Emily freehand painted the ikat pattern on her walls ... and with great results!
As Emily documents on her blog, Merrypad, she thought the inherently imperfect nature of the ikat pattern would be a perfect way to try freehand painting rather than using a stencil. She did a trial run on paper and then, after taping off her wall (because even thought it's freehand, it's not willy-nilly!), Emily got to work making the diamond pattern in a repeat on the walls. After the first coat dried, Emily went back and re-positioned the tape and filled in the blank spots with even more of the pattern, achieving a consistent all over look.
The project is spread over two posts over on Merrypad — Can A Girl Paint Ikat? and Ikat Experimentation: Our Finished Closet