I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen Spoonflower fabrics pop up in other people’s makes but didn’t really know what it was about. So when they got in touch I jumped at the chance to dive in and explore what they have to offer. If I’m totally honest, with the everything I’ve got going on (read: laying on the sofa, eating an unholy amount of chocolate and then getting stuck on the sofa) I planned for this blog post to be a simple round up of my favourite designs and what I’d make from them…but it wasn’t long before I had fallen down the rabbit hole. Next thing I knew I was designing my own fabric! Whoopsies.

So how does it work? It’s pretty simple really:

  1. Choose your design: you either use your own design (and by that I mean anything– drawings/photos/paintings/illustrations/graphics) or one of the designs by the many many many independent designers.
  2. Choose your fabric: It doesn’t even have to be fabric– it can be wallpaper, soft furnishings (pillows, throws), pre-printed patterns for dress making (this is super clever) or gift wrap! But obviously I’m going down the fabric route here. There are 24 different fabrics to choose from- basically all the fabric types: from fleece, jersey, silk, canvas, cottons. You can get a sample pack of fabrics, which I would recommend- especially if you are planning to design your own fabric. The shades of colour are very slightly different on different fabrics, plus you can get a ‘feel’ of the fabric and their weight.
  3. Order and enjoy! Fabric can be bought in ‘sample’ size (great for testing designs out), fat quarters and by the metre.

I’ve seen people use Spoonflower fabrics to create some really unique garments. But I was more interested in the ‘cheater’ quilts. I’m one of those people who loves the idea of quilting waaaay more than I actually like the process. There’s not been one quilt I’ve made that I haven’t hated myself for for starting! So the idea of ‘cheater’ quilt is music to my ears! The idea is that the fabric is printed with a quilting design and all you have to do is the quilting part of the stitching (the lines of stitching which give quilts that quilty- technical term obviously, feel).

From what I can see there are two ways of doing this: design/buy a design which has been made with this in mind or use this amazing tool called ‘Fill-A-Yard’. This lets you pick complementary prints/solids to create a block quilt to print which you just need to stitch down. They even group together options for you if you’re not sure which prints to go for (the choice can be overwhelming when there are so many designs to choose from!) You could also use this option as a cost saving way to get combination of prints for small projects.

There are so many beautiful designs out there, including this beauty which I’ve had opened in a tab on my internet browser for months! These samples were in the Kona quilting cotton which has a slightly heavier weight compared to the normal quilting cotton but the colours are pretty close.

So how did I end up designing my own fabric? Well you might have caught this quilt that I made inspired by the Islamic geometry in the Alqueria de Rosales mosque.

Quilt in progress
Inspiration: Tiles from Alqueria de Rosales

This was a bit of a labour of love, with each star shape individually appliquéd on and I quite liked the idea of having a quick, simple way to recreate something similar. I’m lucky because Taufiq has been learning how to create Islamic geometric artwork (shameless plug: check his Instagram here) and was able to help me with the shape and the spacing between the stars. I actually made this through a combination of PowerPoint and GIMP (graphics) [mainly PPT because I’m too much of a simpleton to get my head around graphic designing!] The image gets uploaded onto Spoonflower and you can then adjust the size of the pattern on the fabric. Super simple! I think I might play around with the shades of colour but love the result and will definitely be using this fat quarter to make something once I’m back at the sewing machine!

Let me know if you’ve used Spoonflower before? Are you interested in the pattern I designed? What would you use it for?

Love,

Rumana

Many thanks to Spoonflower for sending me samples of fabric and inviting me to give my honest opinion on the ordering process.

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