Did you know 2018 marks Spoonflower’s 10 year anniversary? It’s safe to say we’ve come a long way from the days of printing just three yards of fabric in one hour and having a team of just five. Over these 10 years we’ve been lucky to see our community of makers and designers grow, and through social platforms like Instagram, we’ve gotten a front-row seat to your creativity.
Update: The Stick It and Pic It giveaway ended on December 31, 2017.
Starting this week, you may find an extra surprise in your Spoonflower order that could help you win a free yard of fabric! Whether you’re sewing, designing, quilting or crafting (maybe even all of the above), we want to see how you’re getting creative at home with #SpoonflowerPicIt! Once you’ve unwrapped your special delivery from Spoonflower and had a chance to ooh and aah over your new fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap, it’s time to Stick it & Pic It. Continue reading or skip over to the video to see how to join the fun!
The next step is to place the patchwork blocks into your design. Open the file you worked on last week where you have prepared with the background and border.
Illustrator: Choose File -> Place. Choose one of the patchwork blocks saved on your hard drive and click Place.
Photoshop: Choose File -> Place Embedded. Choose one of the patchwork blocks saved on your hard drive and click Place.
This is the step where the rulers and grid will be very helpful. I centered the patchwork blocks in the design and left 2 inch borders between them. Click and drag the first patchwork block so that the top left corner of the block is at 8 inches (right) and 5 inches (down) from the corner of the design. [Read more…] about Cheater Quilt Lesson Four: Placing the Blocks
Now that you have created your six patchwork blocks, it is time to put together the whole quilt design. You can do this using Photoshop or Illustrator (or even another graphics program you are familiar with) by following the same basic steps. Each program handles things a little differently, but you can accomplish the design with either. I prefer Illustrator for this kind of layout, but I will help you with notes for both. (Note, my screenshots and instructions are for the most current versions of Photoshop and Illustrator. If you have an older version, the same tools will be there, they just might be located in a slightly different place.)
Create your canvas.
I am going to first make a blank canvas that is exactly the size of the top of the quilt. For this design I chose one yard of sateen fabric, which is 56 x 36 inches, so I chose File -> New and set it to 56 x 36 inches at 150 dpi or 8400 x 5400 pixels.
Add the background color.
Choose a color for the background of your design. I picked a cool grey (#A09F9E) because I felt it made my rainbow blocks really pop. I like to use the Spoonflower Color Map to pick a color because I will know exactly what it looks like when it’s printed. I keep my color map folded up in the drawer of my computer desk.
Some ideas for choosing a color:
Coordinating. Think about the colors in your design and pick something that relates, like a darker or lighter shade of one of the colors in your theme. If you have all blues and greens in your design, icy blue, navy or deep green might make a great background.
Contrast. Try pairing a neutral with brights. I chose grey to make my bright rainbow patches really pop. If you have neutral colored photos (like black and whites) then you might pick a vibrant background color.
Illustrator: Draw a rectangle that fills the entire canvas and set the fill color to the color you have chosen.
Photoshop: Make a new layer and choose Edit -> Select All. Then choose your color and Edit -> Fill.
Turn on grids and rulers.
I like to turn on a couple of tools to help with layout. If you don’t already have them active, you can turn on rulers which will add measurements all along the sides of your canvas. Additionally, you can turn on grid view which will lay a grid of evenly spaced lines (like graph paper) over your image. These won’t print out or show on your final saved document, but they will help you line everything up as you are working.
Illustrator: Go to View -> Rulers -> Show Rulers. Then go to View -> Show Grid. You can adjust the spacing on the grid under Illustrator -> Preferences. I like to have lines every 1 inch.
Photoshop: Go to View -> Rulers to turn on the rulers. Go to View -> Show -> Grid to turn on the grid. You can adjust the spacing on the grid under Photoshop -> Preferences. I like to have lines every 1 inch.
Add a border.
For my design, I added a white border of small squares. This is the only step where it will matter a bit if you are using Photoshop or Illustrator; the design will be slightly different.
Illustrator: I am going to create a really simple custom brush to make the border squares design. Anywhere on the canvas, draw a small square (1.5 x 1.5 inches) using the square tool. Fill it with the same grey as your background and outline it in white. Select the square and drag it onto the brushes palette. A “New Brush” window will pop up. Choose “Pattern Brush” from the options.
“Pattern Brush Options” will then pop up where you can adjust many settings for your brush. I set the spacing to 50% and chose “Add space to fit” under the Fit section. I left everything else as the default. (If you are interested in learning more about making custom brushes, look here for a great tutorial.)
To add this border to the design, draw a new rectangle that is 51 x 31 inches and center it in the canvas. With this new rectangle selected, click on your new custom brush from the Brushes palette. It should outline the new large rectangle with a chain of squares.
Photoshop: Unfortunately, Photoshop works with custom brushes differently and it is harder to make a border like we did in Illustrator. Instead we will draw just a simple frame. Use the rectangle tool to make a rectangle that is 51 x 31 inches, centered in the canvas. Then go to Window -> Properties to adjust the fill and outline color of this shape and the thickness of the outline.
Save your file. Use the “native” file type for the program you are using. For Illustrator that is .ai and for Photoshop .psd. Usually it will default to this type. This format will save all of the layers, grids and allow us to continue to adjust the file in the next lesson. You will need a .jpg before you print the design, but you don’t want to save it that way at this step. We will add the patchwork blocks in the next lesson and get it ready to print.
- Set up your file.
- Choose a background color.
- Add the border.
Show us a screenshot. How did you choose your background color? What kind of border did you design?
Join us for a three week series with Becka Rahn, co-author of The Spoonflower Handbook, on learning how to transform your favorite photos into the perfect memory quilt. Each week, starting Tuesday, November 17th, we will share a lesson or two on the blog with instructions on how to execute a bite-size piece of the project. We used Instagram photos and a polychrome theme, but you can use any special photos and color palette. Share your progress using hashtag #SpoonChallenge along the way using the social media platform of your choice! [Read more…] about How to Create a Photo Cheater Quilt
The Spoonflower Handbook is finally here and we're celebrating with an extra special giveaway! This is no ordinary giveaway–this time we want to see your selfie!
HOW TO ENTER: Post a selfie with your copy of The Spoonflower Handbook on Instagram using the hashtag #SpoonflowerHandbookSelfie and tag us (@spoonflower) to be automatically entered to win!
PRIZES, RULES, ETC: Each Tuesday, beginning September 8th, we'll randomly select one winner to receive two yards of custom-printed Spoonflower fabric of the winner's choosing. We'll pull one lucky winner each week (on Tuesdays) for six weeks. Please limit one selfie per person. Winners will be notified via an Instagram direct message.
Still haven't picked up your copy? You can order our new book here. We can't wait to see your selfies!