Fat Quarter Projects
What a festive November it’s been for the Spoonflower team! While we’re busy prepping for the end of the year holiday party in the Greenhouse, we’re also in the final weeks of our Softies for Mirabel handmade toy drive. If you’re just learning about this wonderful drive today, don’t worry, there’s still time for you to sew, knit, or crochet a softie for the drive! Please mail or drop-off all softies to the Spoonflower headquarters by Saturday, December 5th. For more donation drop-off details, please click here.
Today’s tutorial comes from our creative friend and textile designer Ceri Gwen. She shares how to stitch up the sweetest hand strap clutch using an engineered design she created that fits perfected on a fat quarter of fabric. Whip one up for an upcoming holiday party or make a few as gifts for friends!
Ceri: Recently I’ve been seeing more and more clutch bags with hand straps and think they look so good–what a neat and practical idea it is! I wanted to try and make my own version and came up with this quick and easy pattern. It’s a compact clutch but easily accommodates all of your essentials.
We are in the era of camera phones, and almost everyone has the opportunity to snap photos at moments when it may have been impossible or inconvenient in the past. The result? Lots and lots of photos, and more sentimental memories captured than ever. If you're like me, then you want to put those extra special photos on display in some creative way. Well, pillows are one of the easiest things to sew, and they can sit in just about any room in the house (plus they make awesome gifts). Okay, let's get started!
In this design tutorial, I'll take you step-by-step through designing a pillow using your own photography.
For this project, all you'll need is a high resolution, digital version of a special photo, a photo editing program like Photoshop, and a few minutes to size it properly for uploading to Spoonflower to print.
I wanted to make a series of square pillows from some black and white photography by Damon Lapas, so I'm going to use the cropping to make this rooster photo into a square. If you want to size your pillow to a rectangle or an odd shape, that's perfectly fine!
I want this pillow to be a 15" square, so I'm going to size the image to print at that size by clicking "Image" –> "Image Size" and selecting "inches" from the drop down menus associated with height and width of the image. If the image isn't exactly 15" by 15", that's okay, but if it's off by more than 1/2", try cropping it on the longer side a bit more.
Next, make sure your image is set to 150 DPI because that's the resolution Spoonflower prints files. Then save the image as a JPEG.
Next, you'll want to have a plan for the back of your pillow, too. Do you want to print a design in the Spoonflower Marketplace for the back of the pillow, use the same photo for the back, or create your own complimentary design? Since I want to stay with the greyscale theme, I'm going to pick a nice, solid grey color.
I'd like to sew an envelope-back pillow cover, so I multiplied the length by 2 to allow for the overlap on the back plus seam allowances and finished edges. Next, adjust the file resolution to 150 DPI. No matter how you'd like to enclose your pillow, it's a good idea for the pillow insert (or pillow form) to be slightly larger than the cover so that it fills out the corners better and the pillow looks fluffier. For example, I'm sewing the pillow cover to be 15"x15", so I got a 16" pillow form. If you want to do a zipper enclosure instead, try this tutorial.
I added some photo credit text and detail at the bottom of the pillow back design, along with some seam allowance so that the text is not puckered or accidentally sewn into the seam. You may choose to write the location or year that the photo was taken, as it may provide a helpful reminder many years from now.
Once you've saved your file as a JPEG, we're going to place the two files into a new file since both the front and back of the pillow will fit on one yard, then we'll upload them together as one file. Open a new Photoshop file, name it, and set the width to 54", the height to 36", and the DPI to 150.
Next, click "File" > "Place embedded" and select one of your files.
Move the first file to one side of the canvas and click Return or Enter place it.
Repeat this step for the second file.
Now, save the new file as a JPEG and upload your new pillow design to Spoonflower. Make sure you size the design to 1 yard and center it. We would recommend printing on Eco Canvas for the most vibrant black and grey colors. We also recommend Linen-Cotton Canvas, Minky, Organic Cotton Sateen, Heavy Cotton Twill and Faux Suede for making pillows.
Once you get your Spoonflower fabric in the mail, sew the pillow cover and stuff it with the pillow form! (This tutorial in The Spoonflower Handbook called "Portrait Pillows" beginning on p100 is pretty handy.)
Show us the pillows that you create with your own photos and post your "in-progress" or finished projects on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #spoonflower and we may repost them to show off your handiwork!
Have fun and let me know how it goes!
Ready to set the table with stylish and sustainable dinner napkins? Here at Spoonflower HQ, we make every effort to be an eco-friendly company with sustainability as a top priority. In order to live that “reduce, reuse, recycle” life, we try to cut down on waste and limit what goes into our landfills. We compost and recycle everything possible–perhaps the most beautiful sustainability effort–we use cloth napkins! Want to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle? Spoonflower crew member Crystal shares two easy ways to create your own finished cloth napkins–mitered corners and pillow case style–for a quick and easy DIY way to start reducing your carbon footprint.
Lately we’ve been super inspired to make new projects and try new techniques as we combat the never-ending fabric hoarding stash! As we strike-off all the projects on the list of things to make, we realize the list is getting too short and as the scrap fabric pile grows ever larger! To combat both issues, we’ve rounded up 8 projects that require no more than a fat quarter of a fabric.
Shevonne gets ready for yoga in her Sport Lycra headband with design Delf_Conversational by Stacy Iest Hsu.
You’ve just sewn up your Sport Lycra leggings and you’re ready for yoga class when it strikes you–your freshly sewn yoga pants need a matching headband to keep the hair out of your eyes during those downward-facing dogs! With the bonus moisture-wicking feature and quick sew time, a headband is the perfect accessory to add to your athletic wardrobe. Join Spoonflower team member and self proclaimed athletic apparel advocate Meredith, as she shows you how to turn a fat quarter of Spoonflower’s Sport Lycra into a headband, ideal for sweating it out at the gym or just preventing a bad hair day.
- 1 Fat Quarter of Spoonflower’s Sport Lycra (I used Jennifer Sanchez Art’s ny1329. The colors in her designs really pop on the Sport Lycra!)
- Fabric shears or rotary blade.
- Sewing machine/thread
PicMonkey is a great tool for taking your favorite photos and turning them into a collage. By uploading your collage to Spoonflower, you can create an endless amount of projects with added sentimental value of being extra personal. California based designer Allison Kreft uses this tool to create a custom drink tray using vacation photos! Follow along in PicMonkey with your own design to create your own!
Allison: I decided to combine my love of photography and fabric in this design. I was inspired on a trip to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and decided to take as many photos as possible. I tried to capture some of the iconic landmarks to set the scene, then added lots of pictures of the little details that create the beach boardwalk atmosphere.
Whether you're traveling or the sun is shining just a little too brightly on a lazy Saturday morning, a soothing eye mask is just the thing to improve your quality of sleep. Making your own eye mask is a great way to bust your fabric stash, or use up some of those test swatches you have lying around. Elizabeth Harrington stops by the blog today for the how-to!
Here in the Southern United States, the heat is blazing and we’re keeping cool with lots of refreshing, icy beverages– and those beverages demand coasters! Today, Spoonflower crew member Theresa stops by to share a quick and easy tutorial for how to make your own personalized drink recipe coasters with no more than a swatch of fabric and a few handy supplies!
Now that the weather has gone from pleasantly mild to hotter than Hades in North Carolina, a tall glass of something cold and delicious on the porch to cool off is essentially part of my daily routine. Is it just me or do drinks look kind of sad and lonely sitting there by themselves? They need coasters! My wood furniture whole-heartedly agrees with me on that. I’m having the family over for dinner soon, so I thought it would be fun to put together some personalized drink recipe coasters for each of them. These would also be great for Father’s Day / Mother’s gifting or birthdays. Using the magic powers of digital printing and some tiles that cost next to nothing, I put each of my family member’s favorite drink recipes right on to their very own coasters. Let’s begin!