Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Fabric of Design

Hi ya! Are you keeping warm? It's pretty chilly here in eastern NC. I can't even begin to imagine the cold in the northern states. Burrrrr! To me, the only good thing about cold weather is staying inside designing, stitching and drinking tons of hot tea. Oh, and wearing socks. I do love socks. But I digress...

Today I wanted to share some information with you about designing fabric and what it all entails. We all know us quilters are hoarders lovers of fabric. Some of us even hoard collect thread and wool too.  It's simply impossible to resist all the yummy colors and textures and styles. Plus, seeing as we are all going to live until we use up our fabric stashes and finish our UFO's, it is a fabulous way to ensure we don't croak at an early age. hee,hee,hee.

rabbit_hearts seafoam






















So, have you ever doodled on paper, taken a photograph, manipulated an image on your computer and thought you would love to see it on a bolt of fabric? Have you ever thought how fun it would be to have a quilt or home decor project made from fabric you designed? Well, Have you heard of Spoonflower?

year of the colorful rabbit mini scale

All of these fabrics came from Spoonflower and were designed by independent designers, not big name designers associated with manufacturers like Moda. 


Loopy Ears and Flowers

Anyone can join Spoonflower and create their own fabric. You can make it for yourself, or you can even sell it by the yard like these folks do.

Geeky Bunny Candyfloss Pink
What's fun about Spoonflower is you can design or purchase something totally unique for your quilts or home decor project. Couldn't you see Jill from Tuesday's post creating her own fabric? I sure could!

The biggest thing you will notice about the fabrics is the cost per yard...most are $17.50 a yard! Yep, you read that right. That is a huge chuck in the quilting budget. However, if you are wanting something totally unique or have always wanted to unleash your inner designer, I think this is a perfect avenue in which to play and be creative.

Damask Cats!

Of course, I choose mostly bunny fabrics to highlight, but there are hundreds of other fabrics to choose from like these damask cats!

So, why is it so expensive? Well, it has to do with being independent and not part of a manufacturer that produces large quantities of fabric in China and other countries. Many quilters and sewing enthusiasts have no idea what the designer of a popular and big line of fabrics actually makes. Would you believe .28 cents a yard?!? Yep, 28 cents a yard for all the hard work, hours of designing and basically, the creative mind to come up with something wonderful that we all want to hoard purchase. 

Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps, wrote an incredible post called, An Inside Look at How Much Fabric Designers Earn. I think you will find it very interesting and also enlightening. So think of one of your most favorite designers and
Hop on over HERE to read the post.

After you read it, hop on back. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on designing your own fabric and also, what you thought of Abby's post. Were you as shocked as I was?

Light, love and blessings to you,
Michelle, the Bunnies and Sabrina kitty too!

20 comments:

Jeanette said...

Sounds like fun. Might have a try at it just for fun. Hugs,xx

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I've used Spoonflower for obtaining some special fabrics and have been very pleased. I knew designers did not get much in the way of royalties, but not that little. I think it is terrible. I did know about the deal with Quilt Market as I worked with a few 'new' designers in making products for their booth. Again - it stinks. Maybe that's why I have no desire to design fabric or patterns for sale.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh Michelle, I LOVE SPOONFLOWER! Way back when I was drawing, dear Karen from A Scrapbook of Inspiration suggested I try it. She has designed so many gorgeous fabrics, and I did try my illustrations on it! It was awesome. Of course with the demise of my little industry (as one friend put it), I never followed through. BUT YES! YES! What a great way to produce a 100% original design, using your own fabric - your OWN design! And I truly believe in keeping our economy and art strong by keeping our sense of creativity HERE at home (as opposed to the imported materials!)

LOVE THESE DESIGNS! GO for it - I'd be so intrigued with what you come up with! Anita

Gisela Suski said...

I believe Spoonflower has won awards for their business. Independent businesses are not easy. I love the fact the fabric is made in the US.

Barb said...

It seems you are amazing with anything you put your hand to

Melody said...

I'd love to see what you would design

Quilt Rat said...

Abby's post is very interesting....not surprising though. Unfortunately I think this is reflected throughout much of the industry.
I have heard of Spoonflower...just haven't gotten around to checking it out. as for the price per yard there....it seems quite reasonable to me. We see good quality cottons fetching $16 to $19/m at our quilt shops.
Quilting isn't for sissies!!!! LOL!

Quilt Hollow said...

I've heard of Spoonflower but never tried it. I read the article...I'm guessing MODA is the top company to design for. They seem to be a tight knit community, sharing constantly from quilt market and if I remember correctly actually rented out a stadium this last time!

Jules Woolford said...

Sadly, I'm not surprised at the low return for the designers, although I think it's shameful. Large companies pretty much have you over a barrel. I did smile when I saw the cost of fabric though. Similar UK companies to Spoonflower are charging vastly more, the cheapest equivalent $31 a yard for regular cotton! I know a lot of independent surface designers here use Spoonflower - but unfortunately the import taxes are now becoming prohibitive for British designers.

Mosaic Magpie said...

I think it would be so cool to have my very own fabric! The price per yard does not seem that much for such a unique item!
Deb

Cindy Sitrick said...

LOVE SPOONFLOWER!!! They have had fun giveaways as well where you can get a free piece of fabric with either your own design, or one of the tons of their designs!! The fabric is the perfect size for a glasses case or small pencil case! The fabric I received was a nonpores one which was fun to play with! They have an amazing quantity of designs, and they are SUPER nice to deal with!! LOVE your designs Michelle!!

Createology said...

Thank you Michelle for sharing this important information. Monetary rewards are not the "draw" for most creative types...it is the soul-satisfying blend of creating something "YOUnique" and special. Abby's post is very interesting and most informative. One always gets what one pays for and quality is not cheap. Creative Bunnyville Bliss Dear...

Anna said...

I read that article and thought it was worth repeating...incredible!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Kinda like the old Tom T. Hall song about guitar pickin'. "Aint no money in it, it'll lead you to an early grave." But thank the gods that some of you folks do it!

Starr White said...

It's wonderful news to me that such a company even exists! And I agree that the cost doesn't seem too outrageous. You could design some fantastic home decor fabrics, Michelle! If you're considering doing it, I say go for it!

Allie said...

I read the article awhile back and was appalled. I don't think Spoonflower is really high though, compared to the prices in the quilt shop - I'd love to have unique fabrics. I love the examples you posted!

almtsbb said...

Spoonflower looks like a very fun site.
And since I'm a fabric hoarder...make that lover of fabric, I'm always looking for new exciting fabrics.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Since I can't draw a straight line I can't see myself ever doing this but I know a few who have and love it! blessings, marlene

Judy1522 said...

I had read the post recently about how much fabric designers get per yard and I think it is shocking that they get so little. At this point I am not interested in designing fabric but I will definitley look at Spoonflower if I want a unique fabric. Thanks for sharing about it.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I just read your comment dearest one....you know what? I will still be visiting everyone. I just will not be posting. I will not delete my blog, so I will still be present.

How could I leave my favorite bunnies, my dear bunny sister? NEVER.

I will be back tomorrow to visit you, like always. THANK YOU!