Get In Print: You Can Design & Print Your Own Fabric via Spoonflower

I don’t know if I need another complication to add to my crazy crafting life, but I’ve got to spread the news about a fabulous newish resource because I know we’ve got readers who, if they haven’t dabbled yet, will certainly leap into this creative adventure . . . especially when they take a gander at the contest the website is co-sponsoring.

Do you know you can have your own designs printed on fabric? Now I’m not talking about dyeing techniques or any other DIY processes. I’m talking about commissioning your own printed yardage.  Isn’t that fabulous?

A spectacular Buddha print designed by art quilter and illustrator Sandra Bruce on Spoonflower.

The company that’s getting a lot of attention in the crafting/quilting/sewing communities for print-your-own fabric is Spoonflower, the brainchild of a crafty mom and her high-tech husband who partnered with some other clever people to start a web-based custom-fabric printing service.

All you need to do is download your design to their website and place your order.  They’ve got lots of fabric types to choose from and, this is very cool, you can even sell your print via the Spoonflower Marketplace. Yes, there are bunches of things you need to know before you jump in, but that’s all available on their website.

While I’m not an expert, I do know a couple of Spoonflower cognoscenti:

Spoonflower actually crossed my orbit a couple of years ago, but their business concept didn’t really click with me until one of our subscribers, Sandra Bruce, an art quilter who also happens to be a fantastic illustrator, shared two very pretty prints she’d just commissioned at Spoonflower. Sandra’s creative life has taken some interesting twists and turns, which she shares via her websites. You can clearly see her dazzling signature style in her prints.

Another gorgeous Sandra Bruce print from Spoonflower.

Then, in an interesting See How We Sew coincidence, that print we used for our group challengeFly Away from Amy Schimler—debuted on Spoonflower. Amy is a fabric designer for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, but Fly Away started as a bird print that she auditioned on Spoonflower before the line was expanded for production at Kaufman.  Amy writes about  her creative pursuits in a blog called Red Fish Circle.

Thought you might enjoy a peek at a quilt made with Amy's Fly Away fabric line for sale on Etsy.com by Dana at Now and Then Quilts. Click the photo to travel her Etsy page. Do you see our challenge fabric showcased in the leftmost column?

Right now Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Spoonflower are running a fabric-designing contest. The deadline is imminent, but the challenge is fantastic and the prize . . . an incredible opportunity to become a fabric designer! Robert Kaufman’s blog has a link to an inspiration page on Pinterest–take a look if you’d like to take on the contest.  Now that one is pretty intense, so if your tastes run to smaller-scale competitions, visit the Spoonflower contest page for their weekly creative challenges. And yes, there’s more:  how about a chance at a Spoonflower giveaway here at See How We Sew?

In closing, I thought I’d add another clicking opportunity to this link-bedazzled post—here’s a Spoonflower Marketplace fabric line that is sublime for those with stellar tastes–makes me want to jump on a spaceship!  In the immortal words of Star Trek’s Spock–live long and prosper fabric fans (& enter the giveaway)!

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87 thoughts on “Get In Print: You Can Design & Print Your Own Fabric via Spoonflower

    1. Is this my friend Paula B. from the outdoor quilt show spectacular in Sisters, OR? Yeah, I’m sooo happy to hear from you!

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      1. Jennifer, you have the best memory! Yes, it’s me! I will always be impressed that you were one of VERY few people who knew where Burkina Faso was when I was living there! I’m in Gabon now, still quilting, teaching, and traveling. I’m so glad to be in touch!

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      2. I had a sneaking suspicion that among our visitors from the African continent I might find you. So happy to hear from you! Perhaps we should do a post on the African quilting/teaching scene? I did see some very pretty images of African fabric sources on your blog and I’m certain you’ve got some terrific insights into textiles sourced from Africa.

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  1. If I have time, I would love to design my own fabric, but if on a deadline, I have no problem buying someone else’s. I’ve seen so many interesting fabrics designed by others on Spoonflower! Or, some of both!

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  2. I would be designing my own fabrics. In fact I’ve already started on some ideas. I need to be able to make quilts I know are safe to photograph and share so commercial fabrics are out these days. I think more quilters will be producing their own fabrics, so they know they really own the finished items.

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  3. Ooh, I wouldn’t even know where to start in designing fabric. I have some friends who do, though, so maybe I’d ask them for some help.

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  4. I have never thought of designing my own fabric, might be fun to try or maybe it just as exciting to see and use one that is already printed.

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  5. I’d love to get some photos printed on fabric… the dogs are calling my name here. What fun you all are. I’ve been watching for a while now and love all the beautiful designs that come thru.

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  6. Ahhhhh…Design my own fabric….what a delightful dream come true. Love color, love motion, love nature….which direction to go?????

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  7. I would design my own, then I would have a stunning fabric no one else has got; I would be able to have the colours I want and not what the colour gods have deemed is in for this year! I could have so much fun designing my fabric.

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  8. I’d definitely have a go at designing some fabric! I keep looking at the ones they already have & love so many of them…….but the chance to make something more personal keeps calling to me.
    Thanks for a chance!

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  9. Would love the opportunity to design fabric with logo/photo of animals we rehabilitate at a wild animal shelter. Prints suitable for totes, etc…can be hard to find. Thanks Spoonflower for the chance!

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  10. Your offer is great….design my own, or choose a delicious fabric. Hmm. That’s a difficult choice, but I think I’d have to try my hand at designing my own. After all, I like challenges. I like to be stretched in my quilting journey. This would be so much fun!!!

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  11. Have tried Spoonflower in designing fabric for my buddy Margaret for her birthday. Would love to try my hand again. What a very cool website and idea that is! Please Pick me! I want to make fabric with my photos!

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  12. I have always dreamt of designing my own fabrics and have a few on spoonflower. I am ordering some samples so I can review them and put them up for sale. I would greatly appreciate someone telling me what the best designs soft ware is for textile designs please so I can live inside my dream in a tapestry universe.

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    1. Hello Laura Ruth,

      My blogging sister Laura saw your reply and asked her friend and fabric designer Carol Van Zandt about design software. Here’s her reply:

      Hi Laura,
      There are several expensive industrial textile design programs that companies and big studios use in house like NedGraphics, Pointcarre and U4ia, but independent designers like myself almost all use Adobe Illustrator and/or Adobe Photoshop. I use Illustrator most of the time, and Photoshop when I am working with scans of my sumi-paintings. Illustrator is vector based and Photoshop is raster based. I like Illustrator as since it is vector based, you can scale things infinitely and I think it is easier to use, especially to do repeats, though there is a more difficult initial learning curve than Photoshop. There are some books and online classes listed on my blog: http://carolvanzandt.net/fabric-design/.
      I hope that helps!
      Best,
      Carol Van Zandt

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  13. I would CERTAINLY buy somebody elses, as I have a ton of them bookmarked, including one super beautiful peacock feather fabric. It’s not that I don’t hope to make my own someday, but really, art isn’t my strong suit! Thank you for the giveaway!

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  14. designing my own fabric is so rad! please help feed my spoonflower addiction! i can hardly sew up what i’ve just ordered before i’ve got more ideas to print!

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    1. Here’s a general reply to those who’ve commented: Wow! Love the trend to DIY your own prints! Keep ‘em coming!

      Jennifer

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  15. Thanks for all the kind words and to Jennifer for putting my designs on her blog! I can’t wait to design some new ideas and upload them to Spoonflower for my future quilt projects.

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    1. Sandra,

      I’m honored that you let me show your prints on our blog. You’ll find a comment from someone who’d like to purchase yardage your Buddha! Isn’t it wonderful to find another medium for your art?

      Jennifer

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  16. Love the concept of Spoonflower and love your blog too. I would definitely use my winnings to purchase some of the fabric I saw. Might try my hand at design later when I have more time but I can’t wait to get my hands on some of the exciting fabrics I saw on the site.
    C,J,

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  17. I found a design on spoonflower that I would LOVE to buy for a quilt! I am interested in designing some of my own, but I have to have the Charles Darwin fabric that’s already on Spoonflower.

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  18. While I’d love to try my hand at designing Spoonflower fabric, I’d have to spend that money on the favorites I have pinned from Spoonflower now. I want to make a vintage circus quilt for my friend’s baby and I found some great fabrics at Spoonflower I *need*,
    shel704 at aol dot com

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  19. Two designs have already been created using drawings by my husband and an fabric printed by Spoonflower. With their linen/canvas fabric, I’ve sewn tote bags, an apron and a pillow top. Good website to try out multiple lay-outs and fast service.

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  20. I would grab my artistic husband, and between the two of us, we’d design our own! What an opportunity. Thanks for the chance!

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  21. I had never heard of Spoonflower. Buying will be a must but I’m sure I won’t resist long giving my own design a go. I think it will be both.

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  22. My first response would be to give it a try designing, then I saw the beautiful finish designs. It is time to get empowered though and designing my own is just the thing.

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  23. No hesitation — print my own! What a great company. Years ago my husband worked for a company that designed, manufactured and imported bedding. They had a machine in the design office that printed fabric. Never got a chance to use it, though.

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  24. I’d have a fabric printed from one of my granddaughter’s pictures. Since I have two precious granddaughters, I’d have to have two fabrics printed (LOL).

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  25. I’ve got a notebook of designs ideas and sketches and colors—designing fabric has been on my list of things I’m longing to do for years. And what a delight to see Sandra’s fabrics! She’s a friend, and I’ve seen the real thing, and wow, the quality is fantastic. She’s quilting the flower design now, and it’s going to be sensational. Thanks for this inspiring post!

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  26. I’d definitely try designing something. Everytime I hear about Spoonflower, I want to give it a try, I just haven’t had the time yet.

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  27. Me too! I volunteer with a dog rescue group and would design a doggie fabric to use on items for our annual auction. I’ve had some cute change purse frames forever and would finally take the plunge and make some in the original design print fabric. I’ve ordered from Spoonflower in the past and I can attest to their quality and great customer service, and, their delivery is lightning quick when you consider they print to order!

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  28. I would definitely try my hand at designing fabric if I won the gift certificate to Spoonflower. I have some ideas swirling around in my head right now and I”m trying to decide if I should put them down on paper for a fabric design. Winning would put me over the edge!

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