Friday, February 18, 2011

DIY Friday: Uploading your designs to Spoonflower Tutorial

I DID IT! I felt like playing hookie today so instead of leaving the house and going to the Cincinnati Art Museum like I wanted to do, I played design hookie instead. That means that when I should have been making some revised invitation proofs, I decided to make my first stab at fabric designing through Spoonflower. For those of you who haven't read my other post on Spoonflower, it is an on-line company that allows you to upload your own designs to be printed on fabric. Amazing.

I will say with absolute honesty that it was WAY easier than I thought. I expected to spend the entire morning playing around with the design so that it repeated correctly. And I also thought the repeat process would be much more complicated than it was. I had to tweak the design just a bit because there was an awkward blank spot on my design, but that was it!

Background story: I'm working on invitations for my 40th birthday party and was inspired by this invitation style that uses fabric as an integral part of the design. As I was pondering all of my favorite fabric designers like Amy Butler, I received a comment from Vanessa of Nessy Designs, about how great it would look with fabric you designed yourself. My stomach actually dropped with anxiety and creative excitement...way to raise the bar Vanessa! I let the idea brew for a few days, and worked on my invitation some more.

Today the muse was with me and I started a fabric design...
Here is my design I created in Illustrator 5, using some hand drawn art converted to tiffs and vector art created with Live Trace/Live Paint so I could separate the flower shapes and change their color. I kept all the images within a square bounding box. That pink flower on the upper right was the one I added after the first upload. It's nearly touching the edge of the bounding box, and without it there was a design "hole". The file was exported in a png format at 300 dpi resolution. I haven't received my sample yet, so I hope that will not show any pixelation. They do have some file recommendations on the site, but I usually ignore those and do it my own way, being the impulsive renegade I am. :o)
HOW IT WORKS
I signed in at the Spoonflower website, clicked on "Start Designing" button and uploaded my file.

The greatest and most delightful surprise was the visual assistance offered by the Spoonflower program. I could click on the different tiling options to see how the design played out on the repeat, plus I could really see how the fabric would look in larger quantities. It makes a difference seeing a swatch versus the whole yard!

Here is my pattern with the various tiling options so you can see what I mean. First I was worried that I would have a half flower  repeating itself on my fabric. Then I clicked the 1 yard and saw that everything would look just great.

This is the "Fat Quarter" swatch

Pattern shown at 1 yard with the "Basic Repeat"

Using the "Half Drop" repeat option

Using the "Half Brick" repeat option

Shown with the "Mirror Repeat" option. Very cool, but not for this design!
I was so excited, I just clicked for a 1 yard of quilting cotton and bought it the darn thing, giving a little shout of excitement in my little office. It took a great deal of control not to pay the extra $25 for rushed shipping. I'm going to be a desperate puppy waiting by the door for the next few weeks until I get my swatch. I'll show it to you when it arrives! Let's cross our fingers, shall we? Let me know if you decide to try this as well...I'd love to hear your experiences.

4 comments:

  1. Looks so cool. I'm going to check it out right now and I might just have to blog about it. Thanks for sharing. This is so super cool :)

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  2. Your design looks really good. Ive printed fabrics with spoonflower a couple of times and im really happy when i received my fabrics. :) The colors and the fabrics turn out awesome. So glad you tried it out! Happy weekend an dlove to you!

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  3. This is amazing technology - thank you for sharing on BYW. Can't wait to hear how you like the end product. How do you plan to use it? Sounds fantastic

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  4. What next ?! Just becoming an amazing "self-help" society..and very inspiring for people who like to create. Please show your end-product. Thanks for sharing.

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