Our Top Tips for Making the Most of Fill-A-Yard

MAR 20, 2020 updated Jun 1, 2021
Featured Collection: Rainbow Cheater Quilt

When is a yard more than a yard? When it’s made with Fill-A-Yard®! Spoonflower has revolutionized the way you replenish your fabric stash and today we’re sharing everything you need to know (hacks included!) about this helpful tool for getting just the amounts of fabric you need. 

Featured Collection: Quilting

Before we get started, it’s important to note that all Fill-A-Yard projects will require you to create a collection or work from an existing collection in the Marketplace. This collection can feature your own designs or designs from any independent artist in the Marketplace. Mix-and-match if you’d like. Did you know you can search a specific theme by collections, find your favorite Design Challenge winners featured in weekly collections through the Spoonflower account, or shop featured collections in the Spoonflower Magazine?

Pro tip: Easily find coordinating designs from one designer by shopping from the Featured In section on their design page.

Australian Native Eucalyptus by erin__kendal

For even more tips on searching designs in the Marketplace, don’t miss these five go-to tips from quilter Lorna Slessor.

Now that you know a little bit more about creating collections for Fill-A-Yard, it’s time to get filling!

Proof Your Designs on a Budget

If you want to proof your own designs or see how your favorite designs from the Marketplace will look together, choose our Fill-A-Yard Cheater Quilt Template, which gives you the best bang for your buck. Since these squares are 6 x 6”, you can sample up to 42 designs on our 1 Yard Cheater Quilt for as low as $18.50–that’s just 44¢ per design! Once you receive your cheater quilt you will have the ability to make all of your own sampled designs available for sale in your Spoonflower shop. 

Pro tip: You can mix and match your private designs with Marketplace designs when using any Fill-A-Yard template.

Seamlessly Mix and Match Colorways

Did you know the same design (in scale and orientation) in a different colorway will repeat seamlessly when used in a Fill-A-Yard project? For example, if we fill the 1 Yard Cheater Quilt template with the designs Luna Moth – Gold on Dark Teal and Luna Moth – Gold on Pink from littlearrowdesign’s  Luna Moth collection, the moths will repeat seamlessly across the cheater quilt template because they are the same design (same scale and orientation) even though they are different colorways. 

Pro tip: To fill a block on your template, first click on the design from your collection on the right side and then click on the block you want to fill.


Think Outside the (6″) Box 

One of our favorite Fill-A-Yard hacks is using either of the cheater quilt templates for projects other than a cheater quilt! If you only need a small amount of fabric but need a variety of designs, the 6” or 9″ blocks can be filled with the same design consecutively to create larger fabric swatches that aren’t traditionally offered on Spoonflower. If the original design is seamless, it will repeat seamlessly across each box. We recommend measuring your pattern pieces first to determine how you should fill your cheater quilt template.

When Spoonflower team member Meredith was making four fox plushies featured in the book Handmade Animals Dolls, she used the 1 Yard Cheater Quilt Template to order just the right amount of fabric she needed for each pattern piece by filling nine squares (3×3) with the same design. 

Would you believe us if we told you this Twisted Ribbons quilt from Suzy Quilts was made using the 2 Yard Cheater Quilt Template? See how Suzy did it here!

Featured Designs by holli_zollinger

Swim is In

If you want to color-block a swimsuit, make it reversible or get two small bikinis out of one yard, try out the Fill-A-Yard split yard template. Create your collection, choose the horizontal split yard template and Sport Lycra as your fabric option, select the designs you want printed and then fill that yard!

Featured Collection: Dashes

Ready to try out Fill-A-Yard? Find more inspiration with these Fill-A-Yard projects. 

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  • The 9” square cheater quilt was great for making pleated masks! I could pick out fabrics to match likes of the people masks were being sewn for.

    • Hello and thanks for your interest in Fill-A-Yard. Our amazing customer service team is available to assist with your specific question. You can send a message here and Monday-Friday from 9am – 4pm Eastern Time we offer live chat. Just click the green “Help” button in the bottom right-hand corner while you are on Spoonflower.com and someone will be happy to help!

      Best,
      Amy

  • Love,love,love your website and your selection of fabric is so fabulous!!! Every order has been the best, so looking forward to getting more of your great fabric designs and getting more creative ideas from the blog ❤️ I was referred to your website by another quilter and I am so grateful.

  • David Bailey

    Hello,

    I want to use Fill-A-Yard with a series of different 9″ photo images that are each placed inside a single 9″ Fill-A-Yard block.

    When I design my pattern, the 9″ Fill-A-Yard square does not start where the 9″ square photo image starts. If I use a 9″ photo in the 9″ Fill-A-Yard block, the horizontal register is off by about 1″ and the left edge of the photo is repeated on the right side of the 9″ block. The vertical alignment is fine.

    I have ordered a panel and this offset is printed into the pattern.

    I have tried adjusting the fabric pattern’s repeat style and size. I have even tried adjusting how the photo is cropped and sized. I cannot find a fix on my end.

    Is it possible to adjust the horizontal alignment in the Fill-A-Yard template or the fabric so that a single 9″ image is aligned correctly within the 9″ Fill-A-Yard block? Or is this template designed only for fabrics that have a pattern that repeats several times within a 9″ block thus minimizing the effect of horizontal offset?

    • Anne Anderson

      Are you still having this issue, David?

      I was having the same issue with little amounts of offset happening in the Fill-A-Yard preview. I wrote the help center and they said that when the fabric is printed, the offset will not happen! Maybe they have fixed the issue by now.

      Like you, I was using the 9 inch squares in the 2 yard sized project. I have not tried printing one out yet.

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for your interest in Fill-A-Yard! Each of the 42 squares of the Fill-A-Yard 1 yard quilt template is 6 X 6 inches. Here is a post that might help with your specific project. I hope that helps, but please let us know if you have any further questions.

      Take care,
      Amy
      Spoonflower

      • I found your FB page through one of your members, Nancy_lee_moran_designs. I’m glad I came by earlier and joined. Then she sent me a link to this page for DIY Fill-A-Yard since I’m still learning how to use your site. She told me about the Fill-A-Yard yesterday and I have been redoing my page to fill some 42 squares on a yard so that I can get the most ‘tested’ sooner. What a great idea! I also really enjoyed the inspirations above as I was just placing images on the squares. Now, I will be trying to make themes. 🙂 This was quite informative. Thank you!

        You’re site is VERY addictive! I first heard about Spoonflower through a YouTuber I watch, “McE Art, Michelle Edhouse”, was mentioning your site in one of her videos because some subscribers were asking how she was putting her creations on her blouses. I immediately had to check you guys out because the thought of being able to WEAR one of my own designs was just blowing my mind!

        You say each of the 42 squares is 6″. I guess I’m trying to wrap my mind around the numbers. I will see what this all means after getting my first Fill-A-Yard! (I have 3 in the works right now and many more ideas to come!)

  • Sharon Winters

    I’ve been wanting to design my own fabrics, but questioned if I’d ever create 42 original designs that I was thrilled with.

    I wasn’t aware that I can manipulate the position, scale AND block size on a Fill-a-Yard order — these were FANTASTIC tips for my first Spoonflower order… which will be a Fill-A-Yard order.

    I really appreciate how accommodating your services are for the home hobbyist.

    • Hi Spoonflower. I just chatted with one of your CSRs and she said I can\’t change scale or color when in the Fill A Yard page. Do you know what this poster is referring to? Is it possible? I can change scale and color in the Design page but not the FAY page. Thanks.

      • Hi Sharon,

        I’m sorry for any confusion. You cannot change the scale of a design, but you can change the size of a Fill-A-yard block. If an artist has uploaded a certain design in different scales and colorways, you could use it in a collection for a Fill-A-Yard project, but you cannot manipulate the scale of a design yourself. I hope that helps, but please let me know if you have any further questions.

        Best,
        Amy
        Spoonflower

    • I don’t see anything about changing the scale in this article. I’m still filling 6×6 when I need 9×9.

      FYI – My first FAY came this week and 12” = 11.75”. All blocks are off by 1/4”.

    • Hi Sharon,

      We’re so happy to hear you found this post helpful! There’s so much you can do with Fill-A-Yard and we can’t wait to see what you create.

  • Janet Scheelar

    Thank you so much for this! As a newcomer to Spoonflower, I wanted to find the most economical way to submit my designs. This blog has been most helpful.

    • Hi Janet,

      We’re so happy to hear you found this post helpful! -Meredith from Spoonflower