There’s some very cute stuff in our Flickr pool lately! Have you all seen these stuffed mini-cushies
made up by Jhoanna Aranez over at One Red Robin? Or this stuffed garden gnome by naturesgirl at Poot & Boogie? Very cute. And I can’t wait to see what becomes of these fabrics, too!
Remember this woman? Our intern, Danielle? Sound the trumpets because she’s now our first official Spoonflower hire!
Woo-hoo! I can’t tell you all how nice it is to have a female around here who doesn’t throw temper tantrums or need to be plied with pb&j sandwiches and goldfish crackers to be happy. Oh, and she’s also really nice to talk to about sewing, design, fabric, and the like. We’re so glad to have you here more often now, Danielle!
Before we ship out all the fabrics that Danielle has been printing this week, I just wanted to show you all another lovely cheater quilt design. It’s from one of our users, Betsy Childs, who saw Angry Chicken‘s cheater quilt and was inspired to create her own.
It printed up beautifully and Betsy says that this is the first time she’s tried anything like this. I, for one, am very impressed! The imagery she used in some of her squares reminded me of old books we had around the house when I was a kid. I’ve seen similar fairy tale-related public domain images here and there on the web and found them appealing, but wasn’t sure how I might use them in a crafting context. Now I know!
Some of you who already have Beta accounts may have noticed that we released a few changes to the Spoonflower site yesterday, including the ability to create a public profile and public designs. But you may also have noticed that not everything in the new release is working perfectly. Some images, as it turns out, can’t be made public or re-named. And if you uploaded an image to use in your profile, you may find that it has disappeared the next time you log in. Oops. There are a few other issues as well. Please rest assured we are working on fixing these little glitches, none of which affect your ability to upload designs or order fabric.
And for those of you still waiting for an invitation that will allow you to log in to the site and upload your own designs, thank you again for your patience. As soon as we work through this set of issues, we’re going to resume sending out invites for new accounts.
And I know we owe everyone a new video. Working on it.
I think of summer in NC as my indoor season. It’s just so darn hot and humid in June, July, and August that there’s nothing for it but to stay inside and sew, make slushy drinks for the girls, and remain as still as possible.
September, though? Glorious relief! It’s been 70 degrees here lately which means that it’s outdoors for me again today. For the girls, too. My middle daughter, all of 3-1/2 years old, found so many worms in the garden today that she had an enormous tangled ball of them in her grubby little palm by the time I noticed what she was doing. (She said they were "cuddling.")
But all this much needed outdoors time means that I am woefully behind on my crafty blog reading lately! Which is why that I only registered this very useful post by Daisy Janie this evening. From one very talented fabric designer and handbag crafter to you, a list of sewing supply companies that Jan DiCintio describes as having "decent service, quality products and very fair pricing." You’ll find this list especially helpful if you’ve been looking for suppliers of pretty trims, zippers, magnetic snaps, handles and the like. Thanks for sharing, Jan!
I’m sure a lot of you are already familiar with the tremendously talented Amy Karol over at Angry Chicken. She’s the author of one of my favorite sewing books in recent memory, Bend-the-Rules Sewing, a very approachable, friendly book for those of you who might still be sewing shy. She posted yesterday about a cheater (aka, whole cloth, no piecing necessary) quilt that we printed the fabric for, and I was totally blown away with the cleverness of this idea. I’ve certainly seen cheater fabrics before, but always found the designs uninspiring and, frankly, too fuddy-duddy to my eye. Amy’s design takes this old time-saving method of making a quilt and makes it fresh, modern, and very appealing indeed.
Thanks to my (lamentably blog-less!) friend, Tammy, for the alert on this amazing project!
Erin at A Dress a Day and I are psychically linked. I’m sure of it, because why else would I have posted about my new dress yesterday and then learned from her that Monday was International Wear a Dress Day? Even greater, Erin has declared it Wear a Dress Week now, so you still have time to get your dress groove on and post pictures of yourself in all your dressy glory to her Flickr pool. (Put DNB in your notes if you don’t want her to include your frock in a blog post.)
I have been thinking about a dress made up with this fabric, three yards of which I have calling to me from my sewing basket. Any pattern suggestions, y’all?
Inspired by Sarah over at Jinjur mentioning last week that she had finished the last of her summer projects, I used this weekend to work on a summer dress for myself that I’ve been meaning to make for, oh, the last year. Here it is, made up in Sofia cotton lawn by Robert Kaufman. The pattern is the Prairie Girl dress pattern from Favorite Things. I am so crazy about this fabric that I’m trying to figure out ways to use up the last little scrap–lining a bag, maybe, or a little coin purse. Maybe backing a lightweight linen scarf…
I hope you all were able to get around to projects for yourselves this weekend, too!
Update to my update: Contrary to my earlier note, our changes are now live!
If you happen to visit the Spoonflower home page today, you may notice a few subtle changes. We’ve updated the header at the top of the page (which means we’ll have to fix the header on the blog soon, too, so they match), but more importantly we’ve fixed a few of the small bugs in the shopping cart checkout process, including a very silly one that rejected the state in your address as ‘invalid’ if you happened to enter it in lower case. Less amusingly, folks using the Paypal option to checkout are now less likely to encounter problems. Thanks, as always, to those of you who take the time to tell us about these things. And thanks for your patience. More exciting changes are on the way.
I don’t know about the rest of you out there, but I sometimes have trouble with wanting to do too much, creatively speaking. My big attempt last week to get organized on the handmade gifts front has backfired in a weird way. Yes, I’ve got a working list now of all the projects I plan to make for friends, kids, and family this winter, and have even completed a couple of the simpler ones. But in gearing up for creative production mode, I unwittingly stepped into the time-stealing quagmire of a new obsession–making books.
While poking around in search of a handmade sketch book tutorial for the doodlers on my list, I found this wonderful book. At Spoonflower, we’ve had bookbinders email us before with questions about fabric for cloth bound books, but it wasn’t until I started reading this book that I realized how many similarities there are between sewing and bookbinding. I had no idea, for example, that paper had a straight of grain the way that fabric does. I did know that sometimes book bindings were sewn together, but I didn’t know how appealing exposed stitches could look on a handmade book binding. There is just enough similarity to sewing for me to feel undaunted, but little enough for the prospect of making books to be very intriguing indeed.
I like to take baby steps when embarking on something new and potentially wallet-worrying, so back to that fabric in books idea. Esther Smith offers a couple of jumping off points for cloth books–"for babies of all ages," as she puts it–and I can imagine how much fun it would be to design some fabric to print up for just this purpose. It could be something as simple as a printed, custom cover for the front of your fabric book, or as elaborate as a posterized collection of family photos sewed into a cloth baby book. If you prefer your books be made of paper, thanks, there are also tutorials out there for turning fabric into book cloth to be adhered to board for a different kind of book’s cover (though Smith doesn’t discuss that in her book).
I’m adding a cloth baby book to my littlest girl’s Christmas gift list right…now. And I’ll keep you posted on whether the new obsession ends there.
Thanks to all of you who suggested such awesome boy-friendly handmade gifts on my last post. For those of you who missed it, do check out the comments on this post. There are some really inspired ideas that might help you out with your own handmade holiday gift list, whether for boys or girls! The photo left there shows some felt crowns in progress for some of the littler people on my list. I got the pattern out of Creative Family, but tweaked it a bit.
Even nicer for our family in particular is that this list inspired not only me but also my two older daughters to brainstorm handmade gifts for everyone we could think of! I was so proud of my ten-year old especially. Not only did she come up with some lovely ideas for family members, she actually got started making some of them. I swear, at one point I left the room for a few minutes and when I came back she had strung up a necklace for my mom’s gift already! Then a few minutes later, she had drafted a stuffed toy pattern for her baby sister and was all ready to go upstairs to choose fabric and bust out the ironing board! Those of you out there who know my oldest know that it is hard indeed to pry a book out of her fingers and get her off her preferred reading spot on the sofa. She tends to lose steam with craft projects pretty quickly, but this time she was so excited. The sheer variety of making possibilities is what did it, I think.
Here’s hoping that you and your families all had similarly inspired weekends!