Fabric Design, Sewing, Spoonflower

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze

With a new baby in the house, I’m back to trying all of the new baby patterns and fabrics. I can’t believe how many new things there are in 5 years! It was the same with maternity patterns…the sewing industry just keeps expanding and new independent designers and shops are popping up every day.

Those of you that have been following for a while know that I enjoy designing fabric for some of my sewing projects. Spoonflower allows designers to upload custom fabric designs and then prints the design on fabric. There are over a dozen different types of fabric now, plus wallpaper and gift wrap.

Recently, Spoonflower added Organic Sweet Pea Gauze to their fabric offerings. This is the same type of gauze (or muslin) your boutique baby blankets are made from. I ordered some printed with my Botanical Leaf Shadows design.

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze | Radiant Home Studio

I didn’t get a chance to make blankets before our baby was born, so I bought a few swaddle blankets from Margaux & May (affiliate link). They are high-quality, beautiful blankets. I really did not expect the Spoonflower gauze to live up to that quality.

When I first opened my fabric, I was disappointed. My boutique blankets are double gauze (meaning there are two thin layers tacked together) and the Sweet Pea Gauze seemed flat and stiff. I knew I needed to wash it before I made a final judgment though. Washing made all the difference! The gauze wrinkled up and I could see the soft layers of the double gauze. It’s very similar, if not identical, to the boutique blankets.

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze | Radiant Home Studio

Spoonflower does recommend keeping a white background for the softest results. My light pink background is slightly stiffer than the white blankets I have, but it’s still very soft and useable.

I used 1 1/2 yds. of fabric for one blanket. Since Spoonflower only sells in 1 yd. increments, it’s best to buy 3 yds. at a time. To cut the fabric, just fold a corner over to the opposite selvage to mark out your square. The fabric has a small grid running through it, with lines about 3/4″ apart. I used these lines as a cutting guide to make sure my fabric was square and on grain. This works well even after you wash the fabric and have a bunch of wrinkles to work around.

I used the grid squares to measure my hem around the edges as well. Just make a 3/4″ double fold toward the wrong side on each edge and stitch around. It took less than 15 minutes! If you are looking for an easy custom baby gift, this is a great option.

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze | Radiant Home Studio

My only complaint is the cost. It ends up being about $30 to make one blanket. My boutique blankets were about $30 for 2 blankets. Since the quality is similar, I would only use the Spoonflower fabric again for custom/personalized projects. With so many beautiful designs in the shop, ready-made and for less money, I can’t justify making many swaddle blankets as gifts. But as I said above, for something personalized, this is a lovely fabric and I’d use it again.

P.S. Spoonflower is running a 2-for-1 fat quarter sale until Nov. 9th! All of my fat quarter tea towel designs have been recently updated and make beautiful handmade gifts!

Fabric Design

New Fabric Designs at Spoonflower

I just ordered some swatches of fabric designs from the past few months. I’m slowly making them available in my Spoonflower shop as I make the final sizing and color adjustments.

Here are a few of the new fabric designs I have in my shop. You can also order the designs as removable wallpaper, or satin or matte gift wrap.

New Spoonflower Fabric Designs | Radiant Home Studio

On the top left is the seahorse print I designed last summer. I thought it would be a good time to make it available for summer beach house decorating. On the top right is a calligraphy design with literary themed words. It’s simple and clean, and I think it would make great gifts for English teachers, librarians, and book lovers.

On the lower left is a design called “feathered nest.” The flow of the design is really nice when you zoom out, so I keep imagining it as wallpaper on an accent wall. Finally, the bottom right is a design I did for the Spoonflower fishing flies contest. I painted the flies with watercolors while the kids were busy painting their own masterpieces next to me. The watercolor effect comes across nicely in the printing as well.

There are several more coming, so keep checking back!

Fabric Design, Spoonflower, Surface Design

2015 Tea Towel Calendar {Joy comes in the morning}

I’ve had a couple of people ask if I was making a new tea towel calendar design this year. With all of my sewing I almost forgot about it, but I managed to finish my design just in time! (The watermark won’t be on the design.)

Joy Comes in the Morning | 2015 Tea Towel Calendar

Since most people hang the tea towel calendar on the wall (I think…at least I do!) I wanted to write something that would be encouraging and inspiring. It says, “Joy comes in the morning“, which is from Ps. 30:5. “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” The joy of knowing Jesus chases away the sorrow of this life. It’s a daily reminder to persevere through suffering and find our joy in Jesus.

There are many fun and beautiful entries, and voting is open until next Thursday morning. Tea towels seem to be popular Christmas gifts, and Spoonflower announced a 2-for-1 deal coming up soon! Or you can buy 4 on a yard. They end up being somewhere around $7 each. I still need to proof my design, but I’m hoping to have it available in time for the sale.

Finally, I have a tutorial showing you how to hem your tea towels so you can give them as gifts!

Update: My tea towel is now for sale and I have updated my Wildflower tea towel calendar with dates for 2015.

Fabric Design

Design Summer School Show and Tell

I signed up for the Make it in Design summer school classes a few weeks ago. I shared a little about the first assignment, and I wanted to share my final thoughts and a couple of the finished designs from the work I did.

The second round of briefs were somewhat related to each other. The intermediate brief asked us to design an animal print with our own twist. I started with a giraffe print design. Originally I used brighter colors and layered some ikat shapes over it, but it wasn’t really working. I was watercolor painting with the kids one day and made this little giraffe. I scanned him in and added him to the design, then made one of them yellow to add a bit of color and interest. It’s a little bit whimsical with the giraffe illustration, but I think it could work for children’s products and adult products.

Giraffe print bag Mock-up | Radiant Home Studio

The advanced brief asked us to design a tribal collage motif. They suggested making 3 or 4 separate designs and then putting them together in a collage style pattern. I made several bright colored African/tribal designs, but in the end I liked the more earthy colors together. The rhino comes from a stamp that I carved out a few weeks ago for the Spoonflower Rhino design I made.

Animal Tribal Design Summer School | Radiant Home Studio

For week 3 the intermediate brief asked for feather designs. I saw a lot of designs popping up using just feathers, but mine seemed to be lacking something when I had a simple feather design. I came back to it later, used a different color palette, and added nests for my birds and feathers. The birds don’t stand out as much as I’d like, so I may do some recoloring. I like the overall look of the pattern though and I think adding the nests made it more “me”.

One of the biggest challenges for me was learning to create product mock-ups. I’m limited to Photoshop elements right now, so some of the tools I needed to make designs wrap around 3-D products were not available. Wallpaper and flat illustrated mock-ups were the easiest to learn and use with my current tools, so I made a lot of those.

Feathered Nest Wallpaper design  | Radiant Home studio

The final advanced brief asked for an intricate design. It was supposed to be a chaotic as well, but I ended up with a more “organized” design. I also used the wall paper mock-up to showcase the design. Here’s a look at the sketch I started with and then the final design.

Intricate Chaos Wallpaper Design | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, I enjoyed the challenge of making these designs. The push outside my comfort zone forced me to learn some new skills and work with color palettes I would not have chosen. The more designs I make, the more I develop a sense of my own style. I also appreciated the community aspect of the summer school classes. Many people shared helpful resources and design tips in the private discussion forums. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with these skills, but I know I love making designs and patterns…for now I’m just going to keep making them!

If you are interested, you can see a full gallery of the submitted designs!

Fabric Design

Design Summer School

I’m taking a break from sewing this week to improve my design skills. I’m drawn to surface pattern design, particularly textile design, and I’d love to polish my skills and develop my style more.

Impulse Retro Geometric |Make it In Design Summer School | Radiant Home Studio|

I’ve considered trying to do the “Make It in Design” or “Make Art That Sells” workshops for a long time, but hesitated because of the expense. When I saw that Make It In Design was planning a free design “Summer School” program, I jumped at the chance to try their classes and “meet” other people with similar interests.

So far, I have not been disappointed! I received 2 design briefs and have completed the first. I have enjoyed seeing all of the process photos and tips from other designers as they share bits of their work on Facebook and Instagram.

Retro Geometric Swimwear Mock-up | Make It IN Design Summer School | Radiant Home Studio

The theme was Retro Geometric and the goal was to create a design that would work as swimwear. One of the keywords they threw in was “tropical”, so I added a little bit of floral to my geometric design. I may be pushing the definition of  “geometric” but the design didn’t seem finished until I added the flowers.

Triangle Block Print | MIID Summer School | Radiant Home Studio

To give the design some texture, I carved a stamp to use as the base for the design. I scanned it, put it in repeat, and reworked a watercolor flower I had painted a few months ago to fit the color palette.

And here’s a peek at what I’ve been sketching for the 2nd brief…

Seahorse Sketch | MIID Summer School | Radiant Home Studio