What do you get when you mix a Spoonflower designer, five eager students, and the cutest handmade shop? Thanks to designer and maker Leah Gaeddert, leahfayegaeddert in the Marketplace, you get a one-of-a-kind hands on fabric design workshop! We’re often asked how to teach a fabric design workshop and when Leah told the Spoonflower team about her class, we knew we had to find out more! If you’ve ever wanted to see how you could share your design skills with your local community, this is the post for you. Keep reading to find out the keys to teaching a successful fabric design workshop by the teacher herself.
Leah: A few weeks ago I hosted my first fabric design workshop at a new Wichita, Kansas shop, Liv + Work. Olivia Grant is a local Wichita maker who just opened up her shop full of handmade goods this past April and regularly hosts workshops out of the back!
We hosted five students from the Wichita area, most with minimal former art & design experience but all with the dream of one day designing their own fabric. It was a small but very fun and productive group! They started off by finding inspiration on the internet and the Spoonflower catalog. With an idea ready, they drew their designs on paper and were provided with acrylic paint, colored pencil, watercolor, or Sharpie to add color. Most students ended up choosing to use watercolor and outlined their designs with ultra fine tip Sharpie. (All while enjoying tasty drinks and snacks that Olivia provided!) I was amazed at the designs they had come up with, despite all claiming they hadn’t drawn much before.
As students finished their designs we brought them over to scan them. Once scanned, we uploaded them into Photoshop and used a variety of tools to edit the original image, removing any pencil lines and mistakes and dropping out the paper background so that we could replace it with a background color. With their image edited, we cropped it to the size they wanted and selected a color using Spoonflower’s color guide for their background.
I then helped each of them upload their fabric design onto the design section of Spoonflower and adjust their size and layout until it was just how they wanted. They loved how easy to it was to use and were so happy with their finished fabrics in the design tool! The fabric sample pack was also a great tool to help select the right fabric for each of the students’ final projects. Some came with ideas in mind, like decorative pillows for their newly decorated bedroom, others thought of projects after they designed their fabrics like matching tablecloths, napkins, and tea towels, and the rest weren’t sure what they were going to use it for, but were so excited to see the finished product.
It was such an amazing experience to meet up and design with others. The students came up with some really great ideas that will make amazing fabric. We are all so excited to see how their fabrics turn out and what they will end up making!
Ready to sign-up for your first fabric design workshop? Stay tuned for details on the Fall Spoonflower Handbook Master Class taught by co-author, Becka Rahn!
Photos by Madison Photography
Leah Gaeddert is an artist/designer based out of North Newton, Kansas. Leah is the owner of Lavender & Clover a paper and baby goods online and pop up shop that she started in August of 2016. Her products feature her watercolor and ink paintings printed on paper cards and fine art prints and also on fabric that she sews into baby blankets, burp rags, teether toys, and other baby products.