It's been quite a year and we can't believe 2015 is already drawing to a close! Our community has accomplished so much together in these last 12 months, from contest wins to the launching of Sprout Patterns, to the opening of hundreds of shops with promising new designers to explore. Take a walk down memory lane with us as we recount some of our favorite highlights of 2015!
Congratulations—you're a textile designer! You've successfully completed our 12 Days of Design SpoonChallenge by gathering inspiration and turning it into a surface design. You may be asking yourself, now what? We say keep designing! To continue to inspire your creative textile design journey, we've rounded up a few of our favorite designers who have found success through licensed collections!
Patty Sloniger |Michael Miller
Andie Hanna | Robert Kaufman
Dennis Bennet | Birch Fabrics
Holli Zollinger | Riley Blake Fabrics
Katarina Rocella | Art Gallery Fabrics
Sammy K | Timeless Treasures
Thanks for joining us for 12 Days of Design! We'd love to hear you thoughts on the series and ideas for new SpoonChallenges in the comments below!
Cozying up to knit during winter happens to be one of our favorite activities and, judging by the entries in the week's contest, you all feel the same! Whether you enjoy knitting, designing knitting-themed fabric, or simply voting on knitting-inspired designs, we hope you had as much fun as we did picking out your favorites. We are proud to announce the winner, Julie Lynch (cjldesigns) with her design "Woodland Knits." See all of the knit-tastic top 10 winners!
1. 473 votes for woodland knits by cjldesigns
2. 406 votes for Cheerful Yarn by tinykiwidesign
3. 352 votes for Knitted rows by mirjamauno
4. 340 votes for Itty bitty knitting committee by designed_by_debby
5. 316 votes for Cats & Wool by melarmstrongdesign
6. 314 votes for Knitting sheep by heleenvanbuul
7. 308 votes for Lambswool by ebygomm
8. 304 votes for hanks of wool by cassiopee
9. 297 votes for woolens by skbird
You've uploaded your first fabric design! Now it's time to add it to the Marketplace. Follow the simple steps below to edit your design and make it ready for the world!
1. One of the most important parts of your design is the name. Be sure to create a unique and fun name for your design!
2. The description should be information about your design. Here you can talk about what inspired you to create it, why you chose the color scheme you chose, or even information on how to get in touch with you if interested in changing the colors.
3. You can also add more to the description on the Additional Details section.
4. The thumbnail will be the small image that customers will be able to see initially of your design before clicking on it to be wowed by your creation. Make sure you select the best of the three images that you see there.
5. You can use tags as keywords. These will be the words that when typed in our website will bring up all relevant designs with those words included. So, if you created a design with hearts, for example, make sure you add up to 7 relevant words that will help people find your design, words like “heart,” “love,” “Valentine’s,” etc.
6. The colors are the small colored squares that you will see under your design. They will help people find your design among other designs with the same color scheme. Be sure to check what colors were selected automatically and if you feel that something should be different, edit the color blocks to update your design!
You may want to update how you'd like to sell or display your design. When you upload a design to Spoonflower, it defaults to being private—only you can see or purchase it. You have the option to make it public, meaning others can view your work, but can not purchase it. Or you can make it for sale.
7. Make your design available for sale! After you have completed all the changes, you can order a swatch of the fabric (the cost of a swatch is only $5!). Once you receive it, you will be able to “proof” it. This means that you will have the design in hand to ensure the colors and quality are what you expected. If they are, then you can make your design available for sale on all the products you would like. If you need to do some more tweaking, you can go back to our instructions and make all the necessary changes!
With these tools, you are now able to make your design available to the world!
Did you know that we can print your artwork no only onto fabric, but also wallpaper and gift wrap? Well, we can! With Spoonflower, you can upload your design and make it available for one, or all of these products!
A fun feature of our site is that you can set up your preferences on scale and repeat for each type of product. So an image can be large scale for fabric and then smaller scale for gift wrap. We also offer 5 different types (basic, half-drop, half-brick, mirrored and centered) of repeats that let you use one simple element to create a fabulous design.: Find out all about repeat options in Spoonflower here.
In this example, we created a simple geometric shape and uploaded it to our website.
We are so delighted that you have been working on creating a textile design over the last few days of our SpoonChallenge! Now that you've created a digital file and have uploaded your design, explore the abundance of free, high-quality design tools and resources available online. We've rounded up a few of our favorites, but please let us in on your favorite tricks of the trade in the comments!
PicMonkey is a free image editing tool that allows you to resize your files, add graphics and text to images, and even create collages. You can actually access PicMonkey directly from our site when you upload your image–Eloisa's blog post shows you a sampling of what you can do!
Pattern Observer is geared toward helping you take your surface design to the next level. While their blog is chock full of interviews, advice, and even textile history, they also offer comprehensive e-courses that will take you from creating your design portfolio to honing in on creating sketches that you can sell.
MAKE IT IN DESIGN
Make It In Design also offers courses, tips, and a vibrant community of fellow designers. There is truly something for a desinger at every level on this site, including issues of MOYO Magazine, their quarterly publication dedicated to surface design.
Creative Bloq delivers tips, inspiration, and resouces for all types of design–graphic, web, 3D and more. They've rounded up 2500 Free Resources for Designers, featuring typography, graphics, and even Photoshop ad-ons!
We're almost half way through our 12 days of Design #spoonchallenge, so far we've gathered inspiration, picked a themed, made a mood board, developed a color palette and chosen a medium. Wow! By now, you are well on your way to a beautiful surface design. The best part of any #spoonchallenge is sharing photos and getting inspired by what the community is creating. Take a look at some of the beautiful #spoonchallenge snaps, and don't forget to upload your own and tag them!
@Bonibon shared a photo on Instagram of a color palette she found in her city
Nail polish is the best color inspiration! This snap is from @rlbartzy1
We always love the #huesday posts from @modmagpie! Her little festive trees make the perfect color palette for a design.
we are loving the rich colors and textures in @maggiebethfisher's mood board shot!
Sometimes inspiration comes at the strangest times, like for @susanlabrum who was waiting at an airport she snapped this pic!
Like most things, becoming a surface designer takes practice, just a little each day. We've still got 7 more days to go for this #spoonchallenge, so be sure to sign up now if you have't yet!
Today kicks off the first day of our second annual 12 Days of Design! We're delivering 12 days of design tips directly to your inbox to help you create your first, or next, textile design! If you haven't signed up, it's not too late–sign up now!
Sometimes the hardest part of fabric design is just getting started. It's common to feel completely uninspired, but luckily there are a million ways to get the creative juices flowing! We'll start this year's series by sharing our favorite places and ways to find inspiration. How do you get inspired? Please share in the comments below!
1. Visit a downtown: Hit the streets in a urban area to be inspired by the city buzz and bright lights!
It is time to put together the patchwork squares! We are going to use the collage tool at PicMonkey to create our patchwork blocks.
Go to www.picmonkey.com and click on the Collage button that’s at the top right. As soon as you click it will take you to your hard drive to find the photos you want to include in your collage. I selected everything in my “Green” folder and clicked Open.
Set up the template.
The first thing you want to do is set up the template for your patchwork block. On the far left hand side there are several tools. Choose the one that looks like stacked squares called “Layout”. When you switch to the Layout tool, you can choose from many many templates for your collage. For this design we want “Square Deal” and the grid option on the far right side, which is 5×5 squares.
The template layout defaults to having a little bit of space between each of the photos in the grid. We want the photos to touch, so to eliminate that space, switch to the Layout Tool (the icon looks like a paint palette) and move the slider at Spacing to be 0.
Now it’s time for the fun part – adding the photos! I actually like to start by letting PicMonkey randomly drop them into the template for me. At the top center of the window you will see a button that says AutoFill. Click and it will randomly fill the collage with the photos you already uploaded.
Adjust individual photos.
In the collage, if you hover over an individual photo with your mouse you will see three things pop up.
- Compass/Multi arrow. If you click and drag when you see the multi arrow, you can move the photo around inside the square frame. This lets you center the image or push something outside of edges of the square.
- If you want to zoom in and have something more prominent, click the photo you want to work with and click the Edit button. A tool window will pop up and you can use the Size slider to adjust the zoom.
- The “x” lets you remove this photo from the collage. Here’s one example. For this photo of my sister, I centered her in the frame and then zoomed in so more of her green bag and t-shirt were filling the photo
Add the photos.
Balance your collage.
The next step is to look at your collage as a whole. Some of your photos will be darker and some will be lighter. Things like strong horizontal lines or circles always jump out to me. Your goal is to spread those things evenly across the block. Balance the darks and lights. Move similar shapes or textures away from each other. You might even need to swap out photos entirely because they are not playing well with the others.
- To move a photo, click on any photo and drag it all the way to a new square in the template. That will swap the positions of those two photos (the one you are dragging and the one at that location.)
- To delete a photo, click the X.
- To add a different photo, switch to the Images tool (left side, looks like a mountain) and you can drag anything from the photo list to the collage. The checkmark means it’s a photo you’ve already used.
- To add a new photo, click the Open Photos button and find it on your hard drive. Here is my green collage when I finished balancing and adjusting everything.
Make a design choice: directional or not-directional?
The last design choice is whether you want your quilt to have a directional print or a nondirectional print. Directional means that all of your photos will face upright when you are looking at the collage. This is great for quilts that will hang on the wall because you will lay out everything so it’s right-side-up. Non-directional means you want your photos to face all different directions so no matter which way you look at it, there are prints that are going each way. This is great for quilts you use and cuddle with because they don’t have a right way up. If you want a directional print, you are done with your collage right now. If you want a nondirectional print, you need to do some rotating. About half of my photos don’t really have a direction and I can ignore those.
For the rest of the photos, the ones that definitely have a right and wrong side up, think of your grid like a sudoku puzzle. In every row and every column of your grid, you should have only 1 photo that goes each direction (right-side up, up-side down, facing right and left). To rotate an image, click to select it and then click the Edit button. Click the circular arrows to rotate. To filter or not to filter? I didn’t add any effect filters to my rainbow patches, but the variations that I showed you in the last lesson each had a different filter applied. You can add a filter to each photo, but I think it makes it more cohesive to add a filter to the entire finished collage at this step. To add a filter, click the Edit button at the top of the window. You won’t be able to move or resize anything in your collage after this, so make sure you are happy with it. Then click Open in Editor.
Click the Filters tool on the left that looks like a magic wand. This will show you all of the available filters. For the variations I showed you back in the last lesson I used the Gritty, Warhol and Focal B&W filters to get those three effects.
The last step is to save your collage. The save button is at the top left.
Give your collage a name. I called mine GreenCollage.jpg. Then go just below where it says Dimensions and click Change. You are going to set the size of this patchwork block right now while you are saving it, so it will be just the size you need when you assemble the whole cheater quilt design. This will make it really easy to do the layout. You want each 5×5 photo block to be 12 inches square when it is printed. 12 inches x 150 pixels/dots per inch (the resolution for Spoonflower’s printers) equals 1800 pixels. So you need to change the dimensions to 1800 x 1800 pixels, by typing this in the boxes. Now when it is printed, it will be exactly 12 x 12 inches. Don’t forget to click the Save to my Computer button.
Make and save 6 photo patchwork collages.
Pick your favorite collage and share it with us! Be sure to tag it #SpoonChallenge on your social media platform of choice so everyone can see it.
WHAT? We're wrapping up the year with 12 days devoted to learning how to create a textile design from start to finish. Take a break during this hectic time of year for a personal challenge as we walk you through each step in creating a design ready to upload to Spoonflower. Sign up to recieve daily tips via email starting December 7th, 2015 to guide you through the fabric design process. Will you accept the challenge and create a textile design?
HOW? All you have to do is follow along as we provide daily tips on finding inspiration, creating a design element, and uploading to Spoonflower. If you'd like, snap a photo of your progress and use the #spoonchallenge hashtag each day to share your process. You can use this hashtag on your social media outlet of choice. We'll be rounding up our favorite shots each week to share on the blog!