What’s the perfect no-sew project for cold weather AND tailgating? Double sided fleece blankets. This beginner level project can be made in under 30 minutes using two yards of Spoonflower’s Fleece and a pair of scissors. Personalize your blanket to your teams’ colors from our Marketplace of over 350,000 designs or design your own, and get cuddled up this season.
Get ready for beach season with this fun sewing project created by Ceri Staziker! She shares how to stitch a sweet cover-up for your kids along with a downloadable PDF to create your own custom sewing pattern!
This is an easy, step-by-step sewing tutorial to create a Minky beach cover-up for a child aged approximately 4-8 years. The tutorial uses my cut-and-sew patterns which can be found here. Alternatively, you can download my free PDF pattern to create a version from your own fabric designs.
Who says unicorns aren’t real? Our new lightweight, low-loft Fleece makes this nostalgic hobby-horse style toy come to life with little more than one yard of fabric, a wooden dowel, and some imagination. Spoonflower friend and DIY craft expert Lia Griffith stops by to share a video tutorial that carefully lays out all the steps for how to master this project, with the help of her cut-and-sew Unicorn Hobby Horse template available in our Marketplace.
Photographs courtesy of Lia Griffith and team!
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!
In this week's edition of Make It Monday, we'll help you prepare for the holiday season and the winter weather all in one project! Learn to sew a simple blanket (in any size) that can be snuggled with for years to come.
In this series, we kick off the week with a quick and easy project that we're hoping to make by the end of the week, and we so hope that you will join along! Each Monday, check out our blog for a quick and easy project that can be completed in very little time. During the week, just sneak in a step or stitch here and there, sharing your progress with the hashtag #makeitmonday on the social media platform of your choice. We'll share what you're making as we go, rounding up our favorite shares on the weekend!
This week, let's sew a simple blanket to donate to a local shelter or to warm someone you love this winter.
We love this tutorial on Momtastic.com for sewing a simple baby blanket. (Keep in mind, you can make this blanket as large or small as you'd like!)
If you're looking for this design in the Spoonflower Marketplace, it's Pennants, lemon – sun soaking by Natalie. Pretty sunny for a winter blanket, no? We recommend using cuddly Minky and Organic Cotton Knit for a warm blanket.
If you're more of a blanket traditionalist, try this throw blanket tutorial from Let's Go Sunning instead. Though we don't print on flannel at Spoonflower yet, there are hundreds of plaid designs in the Spoonflower Marketplace, and paired with Minky and Organic Cotton Knit, you'll sew up a blanket that's as cozy as it gets. Oops! I mean– this blanket is for loved ones, not for keeping!
Don't forget to show us your winter blankets on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter by tagging us or adding the hashtag #spoonflower and #makeitmonday. If you do, we may repost it to show off your beautiful, crafty progress!
Have a beautiful and industrious week!
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.
Stitching up a simple throw pillow is a fast, low effort way to spruce up any space. Our amazingly creative friend Lia Griffith shares a simple video on how to make your own zipper pillow–an easy project for sewists of all levels.
With every craft skill we have to start somewhere, and approaching your first sewing project can be daunting. One of the best first projects to attempt on your sewing machine is a simple pillow with a zipper opening so that it can be removed and washed. It comprises two pieces of fabric, straight line stitching and a zipper – it could not be more simple. And you get the benefit of making something new and fabulous to add to your home or to give to a friend.
Create your own zipper pillows using this same fabric designed by Lia by heading over to her Spoonflower shop!
This week we continue our “Market Yourself” series of posts on getting the word out about your creative enterprise with tips and practical project ideas from creative business folk.
As a quilter, I find that a quilt isn’t truly finished until the label is added. Not only is it a great way to remember when and where you were when you made a quilt (especially when you move as much as I have the past few years!), it can act as a calling card for your blog or business.
When you sell or donate your quilts, your label is a great way for you to brand your work in a polished way, as well as help people find and connect with you online and off.
Below is a tutorial for a simple quilt label using a logo and text. While the directions are specific to Photoshop CS5.1 on a Mac, they can easily be adapted to other Photoshop versions, on either Macs or PCs.
To start, open Photoshop and click on File >> New. Enter a file name and dimensions for your label. My preferred size for quilt labels is 4 inches wide by 3 inches tall, but feel free to do whatever size works best for you and your projects. Enter 150 pixels/inch for your resolution and click OK.
We're very excited to announce the top eight designers from a pool of 100 semifinalists in the Fabric8 competition from Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Close to 7,000 people from all over the world voted for their favorite designs among the semifinalists.
The Fabric8 are:
- The scented garden by cjldesigns
- Dappled Migration by kayajoy
- red_poppies by valley_designs
- Afternoon Tea by heatherdutton
- Water flowers by snowflower
- Watercolor_blooms by sberrens
- Butterflygarden by mahoneybee
- Painted_Petals by anderson_lee
All of these designers are being asked to create a collection based on their winning entry. The collection will include seven additional fabrics, and in the final voting round the world will have a chance to cast one vote for their favorite collection of the eight starting on June 7, 2012.
As the Fabric8 get ready to undertake the challenge of creating their own collections for the first time, we asked the creative team from Robert Kaufman Fabrics to provide a little guidance and advice on what they look for in a collection. For all of the talented designers who competed and didn't make it to the final round, we thought it would be worthwhile to share these tips from the professionals:
Guidelines For Creating a Fabric Collection
Your collection should consist of eight different patterns in total, including the design you've already submitted. A loose formula — from which you are free to depart — for an effective coordinated print fabric collection (especially for the quilting market) is to include the following:
- A focal design (large scale, multicolor, complex, often includes a combination of motifs from the rest of the line)
- A secondary design (medium scale, multicolor, often includes some of, but not all the same motifs as in the focal)
- Small-scale multicolor coordinate (often isolates one motif found in the focal and makes it an all-over pattern of the single motif or single type of motif)
- Tonal or two-tone or tone-on-tone coordinates (can be any scale – perhaps offer several)
- A mix of geometric motifs and organic motifs (ie, florals and polka dots or stripes)
The prints should feel related to one another, which is most easily achieved by repeating motifs throughout the different designs, but can also be achieved through color alone, with otherwise completely unrelated patterns.
- There should be a variety of scale amongst the patterns.
- There should also be a variety of value amongst the patterns.
- Offer a variety of ground coverage, which means that some patterns should lean towards the full coverage end of the spectrum, with motifs overlapping and covering as much of the surface as possible, and other patterns should be more openly spaced with more ground showing through between the motifs.
When we go into commercial production on a collection we usually run designs in several color-ways and often create several cohesive color stories, but your final collection for this contest should tell just one color story. It should be cohesive and coordinated, while still offering variety.
[To see all of the 100 semifinalists, see our previous blog post.]
This week guest author Emma Jeffery — Fiskars design team member and author of the sewing and crafting blog Hello Beautiful — brings us a lovely tutorial for designing fabric from children’s artwork and for making the custom iPad sleeve she created with her fabric.
A couple of decades ago when the Internet was still in its infancy, we would have found it hard to imagine that the new digital, technological age would be instrumental in securing the future of more traditional hand crafts skills. I’m sure I’m not alone in admitting that the inspiration I get from reading craft blogs or tutorials, and seeing many entrepreneurial handmade careers succeed online, has helped me hone my own skills enormously. In fact, it almost seems that even in order to be successful offline, an online presence is essential.
If I get stuck on a sewing project (zippers usually, in case you were interested) or want to learn a new crochet stitch or even find a free pattern, the first and often only place I turn, is to my computer. And if you’d told me a few years ago that one day I’d have the opportunity to design a few of my own fabrics and sew them into unique creations, I’d probably not have believed you.
First off, as much as I’d like to be, I am not a graphic designer. I even downloaded the trial version of Illustrator but we did not get on very well with each other. The cursor always appeared at random on different areas of the screen, everywhere it seemed, except where I clicked, and though I did watch some very helpful beginner’s tutorials, I quickly realized that anything I’d be able to create would pale into comparison against the beautiful and professional looking prints available in the Spoonflower marketplace designed by people with amazing talent.
However, what I may lack in skill, I make up for with good ideas and enthusiasm, so I decided that in keeping with my interest in technology versus tradition, I would turn to a somewhat older design method than my embarrassing computer-based effort. I also decided to involve my children in this exercise because, well, they are much better artists than me.
My take on a traditional block printing method required some well-washed Styrofoam food containers, a couple of wooden skewers, paint and paper. I also found a small craft roller brush more useful than an actual paintbrush.
I cut the Styrofoam into pieces and had my kids use the sharp end of the skewer to etch drawings into them (larger, basic designs are more effective than ones with too much detail). When they were done, we rolled over the designs with paint and stamped them onto plain paper.
When dry, I took photos of the designs, uploaded them to my computer and edited them in my basic photo editing software, flipped around the writing and added simple frames, as well as playing around with the colors.
When my printed fabric arrived, I knew immediately what I’d use it for. What better symbol for the meeting of two worlds – the digital and the handmade – than an iPad sleeve made with a block print fabric created by my children, digitally edited, and printed just for me by the mighty Spoonflower! And until they make iPads that bounce when dropped, some sort of robust padding is essential (at least in my house).
To make your own iPad sleeve like mine:
2. Cut 2 pieces of main fabric measuring 9”x 5” (for the tab)
3. Cut 2 pieces of quilt batting or felt measuring 10” x 12” (for padding)
4. With right sides together and leaving ½” seam allowance, sew two of the 10” x 12” pieces together leaving one long end open plus a 6” opening in the opposite long end. This will be your lining (inside) piece.
5. Repeat step 4 with the other two 10” x 12” pieces and also with the two felt pieces but don’t leave the opening hole. Sew all the way around 3 sides, leaving one long side open. Clip all corners and trim seam allowance to reduce bulk.
6. With right sides together, sew the two tab pieces together, leaving one long end open. Turn right way out and press. Top stitch around the 3 sewn edges of the tab.
7. Turn your outer sleeve piece right sides out. Keep your felt piece wrong sides out. Insert the felt piece into the main piece with wrong sides facing. Baste together along the long edge.
8. Pin and baste the tab piece to the outside of the main piece. Trim raw edges if necessary.
9. Keep lining wrong sides out. Insert the outer piece (with the felt insert and tab attached) into the lining with right sides facing.
11. Pull outer section through the hole you left in the lining and stitch the lining hole closed, folding the raw edges inwards.
12. To finish, sew Velcro onto the tab and front of the sleeve.
I used about ½ yard of linen-cotton canvas to make one sleeve, which means that because I started with 1 yard, I have enough left to make another one– perhaps for a gift for a doting grandparent!
Need more DIY projects? Check out our Back to School DIYs roundup for 41 awesome projects to get your creativity flowing!
About Our Guest Blogger
Hi! I’m Emma, and as well as working on the Fiskars Design Team, I blog over at hellobeautifulblog.blogspot.com/
I’m an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they’re not absolutely perfect. And though I’m no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.