Tag Archives: Spoonflower

Playing With Spoonflower

One of the reasons I took all those photos in 2017 was to build up a stock of images I could manipulate and print out on fabric. I got an early start in December when I succumbed to a special offer from Spoonflower and tried out their fill-a-yard offering.

Last summer I got carried away and took lots of German expressionist shots of our newly painted deck.

I downloaded them to my Spoonflower account and started playing with different arrangements. You can arrange your image to print several ways: just by itself, in rows, in what’s called half brick staggered rows, and in mirror image. You can also change the colors in your photo (both the number of colors and hues) and do some editing of your photo via PicMonkey. So, prepare to waste spend lots of time jiggering with your images before you even decide on a layout.

For my order I decided to use the fill-a-yard option to print half yards of four photos, two per yard. I chose cotton sateen because I love its silky hand. Yes, it costs more ($27/yard) than basic cotton or Kona but it’s wider (56 inches) and hey, I’m worth it.  You do get a bit of a discount if you’re the fabric designer.

I had Spoonflower print two of the deck photos, plus a shot of icicles on my neighbor’s downspout and a sun print I had made. My slightly manipulated photos are below. I changed them even more in Spoonflower.

For all of them I chose the mirror image layout as I love the kaleidoscope effects that can give. Did I mention you should set aside large amounts of time to play with all the possibilities?

It took 12 days from Spoonflower’s acknowledgement of my order to shipping, then a few more days for my order to arrive. You can speed up an order a bit by paying more for shipping, but don’t expect to get your finished fabric a day or so after ordering it.

How did my fabric look? (Please ignore the wrinkles)

 

 

I’ve washed and ironed my fabrics per Spoonflower’s recommendation. The color catcher I put in the wash showed almost no bleeding, despite the dark colors.

There are other fabric printing options available in addition to Spoonflower. Check out this article by the Pixeladies for their review of three services.

 

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Filed under Fabric Printing

I’m A Fabric Designer

As promised, I want to talk about my Spoonflower printed fabric order. The biggest piece I ordered I can’t show as it’s a surprise. I can tell you that it was printed on very white Kona cotton, unlike the greige base color of the samples I ordered.

First, Spoonflower gets the power of presentation. My order arrived promptly and was packaged like this.

Spoonflower order

The color card is actually printed on basic cotton. Now all I have to do is figure out how to use it.

Spoonflower color card

The yard printed on Kona had a slight stiffness before I washed it. After I washed and dried it the surface still had a slight stickiness. When I ironed it, I found some of the color transferred to my iron. A more careful reading of laundry instructions revealed I was supposed to iron it on the wrong side.

I ordered four 8 by 8 inch sample swatches to test my designs and the fabrics available.  The first one is printed on the basic cotton. The second one is printed on cotton poplin. My lesson learned here (and elsewhere) is to do a better job of editing my photos before sending them in. Of course the sample size means that any design repeats don’t show.

The basic cotton is just that. The Kona is heavier and thicker. The poplin is closely woven, but doesn’t offer any advantage that I could see for quilting.

Spoonflower basic cotton

Basic cotton

Spoonflower poplin

Cotton poplin

The next sample was printed on linen/cotton, and is my favorite. The fabric has a nice heft and would be good for bags, home dec, etc.

Spoonflower cotton linen blend

Cotton linen

Finally, I had a sample printed on silk crepe to see how the printing process affected the hand of the cloth. The silk remained supple and soft, so it would be good for making scarves.

Spoonflower silk crepe

silk crepe

Spoonflower folded silk crepe

Now that I’ve dabbled a bit in DIY fabric printing, I’m eager to correct my mistakes – either use crystal clear photos or really blur them; and size my image better to get a larger image printed. I think I’ll be looking at more online videos.

If you’ve gone through this process I’d love to hear about your experiences. My best learning has always been through my peeps.

 

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Filed under Fabric Printing

Technology To The Rescue?

My quilting has slowed to a crawl this past month due to my arm/hand issues. I’ve tried to experiment with alternative ways to work with fabric that don’t involve sewing. After some fabric painting and stamping (the fabric, not my feet) I got around to digital fabric creation.

Oh my, I think I’ve found my next time waster. I decided to create a special fabric for an upcoming occasion using Spoonflower. Two clicks and I saw my first design on the screen. I won’t show that one to you, as it’s a surprise, but I can show you other designs I developed.

Using either photos I’ve taken or scans of fabric I’ve made I came up with the following:

This winter’s amaryllis in a fat quarter size (mirror image).

ramaryllis2__2__shop_preview

A bug tunneled log, mirror image, fat quarter size.

rHyalite_Canyon_log__2__shop_preview

My backlit string pieced top, arranged in tiles and then mirrored. The first image is fat quarter size; the second is a yard.

StripsSunlight__2__shop_preview

rrrStripsSunlightmirrored__2__shop_preview

Then, I played with a piece of crinoline I had sewn tucks into and painted. The first image is the orginal, the second fat quarter size, and the third is a yard.

Folds2001

rrFolds2001staggered_shop_preview

rFolds2001_shop_preview

As you can see, I’m enamored of the mirror image effect. Remember making butterflies that way in school? You get different effects when you change the size of the fabric, which ranges from a small sample to a yard.

I haven’t ordered anything yet as I may want to edit my photos more before I have them printed. Change colors, fuzz out edges – whatever I can do with free editing software. But it’s all so much fun.

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Filed under Fabric Printing, In Process, Techniques

Digital Fabric Printing

2015 may be the year digital fabric printing becomes huge in the quilting community. I’m basing this prediction on the increased availability of commercial and DIY digitally printed fabric.

I realize that quilters have been printing photos on fabric for a while, though I’ve seen the method used mostly for family photos. I confess that the results haven’t really wowed me, so I never attempted it. Besides, my home printer is temperamental, and I didn’t want to ruin the expensive specially treated sheets of fabric with malfunctioning color ink nozzles.

Of course the art quilt community took to digital printing on fabric a few years ago, to judge from entries at Quilt National.

A year or so ago I learned about Spoonflower, an online service that allows you to design and print your own yardage. You can also purchase yardage designed by others. This is a step up from 8.5 by 11 inch pieces of fabric.

Then, I found that fabric manufacturers are offering digitally printed yardage. Here’s a selection offered at eQuilter. Some of the fabrics could make me give up dyeing/painting my own.

For now, I have one digitally printed bit of fabric to play with. A photo taken by my brother was Photoshop enhanced by a fellow quilt guild member and printed on a June Tailor inkjet fabric sheet as part of a program on digital fabric printing. Here it’s resting on top of some hand dyed damask I thought of using with it.

photo on fabric

I’m getting glimmerings of possibilities here. A favorite piece of dyed or painted fabric could be replicated. That 1/4 yard of no longer available fabric needed to complete a quilt could be scanned and printed digitally. Piecing could be eliminated totally by creating a unique “cheater” panel. I may never have to piece again.

 

 

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