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

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  7. I would absolutely design my own! What a great opportunity to stretch the creative muscles! :) Adventures are great, and textile adventures are my favorite kind!

    • Jennifer says:

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

      • 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!

      • Jennifer says:

        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.

      • Jennifer says:

        Oops, forgot: seehowwesew@gmail.com! Let’s chat!

  8. Judy says:

    I would buy some of the most delicious fabric that I have seen on Spoonflower.

  9. Ann Scott says:

    I would love to try designing fabric!!!!

  10. I think I’d definately have a try at designing my own fabric if I won! What a fun thing to get to try!!

  11. Debbie says:

    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!

  12. Susan says:

    I would love to design my own fabric. I’m not sure how to go about doing it but would love to try.

  13. Aileen Kline says:

    I definately want to design my own fabric! What a great opportunity!

  14. Vicki says:

    One never knows what one can do without trying. My choice would definitely be trying my hand at designing.

  15. Diane laybourn says:

    I think I would at least try to design my own fabric-sounds like lots of fun

  16. Ferret says:

    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.

  17. Wehaf says:

    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.

  18. Leslie C says:

    I certainly would try designing my own fabric… Probably using some of my son’s artwork!

  19. Nancy says:

    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.

  20. Nancy says:

    The choice I would make is to design my own piece of fabric–what a wonderful opportunity.

  21. Marilyn Glenn says:

    I would love to design a fabric of my own! Love Spoonflower.

  22. jojo says:

    Oh, I’d love to design my own fabric! Thank you so much for offering this wonderful opportunity.

  23. Pat Hersl says:

    I’m buying. I know I don’t have the artistic ability that I’ve seen here. Glad to treasure their work!

  24. Liz Renner says:

    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.

  25. Chris says:

    I think I’d like to design my own – but the choices are fabulous!!!

  26. diann mize says:

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

  27. Pamela Blackman says:

    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.

  28. Linda E in AZ says:

    I’d love to have the chance to try my hand at fabric design – sounds like great fun!

  29. Nope, no creative juices of that type here! But it would take me forever to decide which fab fabric to chose! I totally love and drool over Spoonflower!

  30. GlendaD says:

    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!

  31. Linda Middlemist says:

    I would try and design my own fabric. would be a fun challenge. thanks for the chance to win.

  32. Chris Chambers says:

    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!

  33. dwynette says:

    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!!!

  34. Marina says:

    Thanks for your great post about Spoonflower. There are so many wonderful designers’ fabrics on our ‘wish list’. We’d love to purchase a few (more!)

  35. Anna Lin says:

    Thank you for affording me a link to spoonflower,it’s awesome.I really like them!

  36. planetcyndy says:

    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!

  37. I would love to design my own fabric. I’d have my son give me a theme and work from there. That would be really interesting.

  38. 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.

    • Jennifer says:

      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

  39. Barbara B says:

    I would take the plunge and design my own fabric. And no matter how it comes out, I’d be proud of it.

  40. Alexandrea M says:

    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!

  41. robin says:

    I’d buy someone else’s fabric. Thanks for the chance!

  42. agnes says:

    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!

    • Jennifer says:

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

      Jennifer

  43. Sharon says:

    oh I’d design my own!!! :D

  44. sellison18 says:

    Lovely as the available Spoonflower prints are, I’d want to design my own fabric.

  45. Sandra Bruce says:

    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.

    • Jennifer says:

      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

  46. C.J. says:

    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,

  47. Amanda says:

    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.

  48. Of course I would design my own fabric! I was just talking with a friend about some design ideas so this would be perfect! Thanks!

  49. Nancy Peterson says:

    I’m not an artist but I would LOVE to buy Sandra Bruce’s fabulous flower print (fabric J).
    It’s a great idea!

  50. redfish says:

    Thanks for featuring my new collection Fly Away and for the link to my site. I am a big Spoonflower fan.

  51. auntiethesis says:

    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

  52. Kimberly B says:

    So many pretty options on Spoonflower! I would buy something designed by one of the very talented people already there and be just as happy to stick to sewing.

  53. Jmbmommy says:

    I would make my own!!!! I want to I really do!!

  54. Sorcha girl says:

    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.

  55. Sharon says:

    i wish i could meet the deadline … but if I won I would definitely take the plunge and design some fabric

  56. Mary says:

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

  57. Cher says:

    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.

  58. Kathy Howard says:

    I would go with my own designs as I already have designs on Spoonflower. (khowardquilts).

  59. Pat says:

    I’d buy some fabric – my son has his eye on some circuit board fabric that he’d love made up into pillow covers!

  60. Kris says:

    I’d love to design my own but realistically would start out by buying!

  61. Joan says:

    I would try to design my own. It would be fun.

  62. I would totally design my own, and it would take me forever because I’d want it to be perfect.

  63. Design, design, design!!! On Spoonflower’s silk. Then sew, sew, sew … scarves, knickers and ties!

  64. soozeg says:

    I would to try to design, but might actually buy a print first.

  65. WOW the opportunities are limitless! I would love to design my own! ♥

  66. I have many of my own designs on Spoonflower, so I would buy some very needed yardage! Thanks for the giveaway!

  67. Alexis says:

    I’d probably attempt to design my own and then when I failed buy someone else’s beautiful print. :)

  68. Sally says:

    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.

  69. Melissa says:

    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.

  70. Pat Hersl says:

    Easy one. I’m buying already done.

  71. De Cook says:

    I’m less than creative on my own so I would likely buy someone else’s beautiful print :)

  72. Brie says:

    I think I would need to do both. There are some prints that I really really LOVE but the opportunity to make my own is just too good to resist.

  73. Jean says:

    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).

  74. At this point I would use the prize to buy some wonderful fabric!

  75. 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!

  76. elle says:

    not sure what I’d design but that would be to maximize the pleasure!

  77. Jeanine says:

    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.

  78. SuzyMcQ says:

    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!

  79. Quilter in Motion says:

    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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