Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This isn't live, it's Memorex. Spoonflower Prints Art on Fabric....

Fabric printed from my original art

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post asking for ideas on what to do with my art. I received many suggestions and it wasn't until I found the website Spoonflower that I got really excited about the possibilities. Spoonflower prints your designs onto fabric. When I found the site I was doing backflips as people have been suggesting to me for years that I should do fabric design - and it wasn't until now that I found a way to make that happen.

Fabric printed from my original art

As I perused the Spoonflower website, I saw that most people were using graphics to design their fabrics. I didn't see much in the way of hand drawn art so when I selected these three images, I literally had zero expectations on how they would come out. As my mandalas are somewhat imperfect in their symmetry, I decided to try cropping the designs to see how they would come out. This first piece was taken from a photo of the original art. (Original art is shown to the right above.) It's printed on organic cotton ($27 a yard) and looks better in person than in this picture. My only complaint is that I chose a piece where I had inadvertantly colored over some of the black lines with colored pencil and that shows. (But maybe I'd be the only one to notice...)

Fabric printed from my original art

This next piece was taken from a scan of the original and I did a mirror pattern on quilting fabric. ($18 a yard) The original is shown on the left. I was BLOWN AWAY at how clearly this piece was reproduced. The 8x8" test swatches in this image and above cost $5 each.

Fabric printed from my original art

Lastly, I decided to do a repeating pattern of one of my most favorite images. This is a fat quarter (26x18") in the organic cotton which cost $14. At the last minute when I was editing the image, I made the background purple. I freaking love it. In fact, when I opened my package, I had tears in my eyes because I really just didn't expect these to turn out as good as they did. I even called Spoonflower to tell them so. Though these are simple fabric tests, seeing them has opened a whole world of possibly for me - even though I don't sew. :o)


melody said...

Well, I sew and they look awesome... I was sitting here thinking about all the things that I could make with them! Can't you make keds on Spoonflower, too? I had a friend who was an illustrator and she cropped out some of her drawings and made cool Keds for her kids... Your mandalas on Keds would be super cool!

Lauren said...

The purple one in particular is just to die for. They are so perfect! Glad you found a good avenue to get your work to more people.

quiltcontemplation blogspot said...

Mine is hand dram and I am painting a design for another one:) well done!

Caren said...

These are just gorgeous! And I do know how to sew (and quilt). I can definitely see a tote bag or something along those lines.

forcryeye said...

These really are cool! what a great idea! I am going to have to work on one myself! I love the purple backround!

Anonymous said...

These look great. I (kquilts), too, have gotten bitten by the designing bug and got my sister, ArtbyJandwalker, hooked, too.

It is so much fun. We both usually start with photos of something.


Debbie said...

wow, awesome, love all of them, i am looking for a new knitting bag... maybe you should add sewing to your repertoire... cheers, deb

Stephanie said...

Those are so beautiful! I'm glad you found something that works for your art.

molly z. said...

This is fab ! I just went to Sunflower and loaded some of my mandalas and got a couple tests and a fat qtr (with an offset repeat) MY ? is how did you get the purple background? I am quite new to the graphic/paint programs - my former 40-yr career was as a costruction drawing drafter (very rigid & precise). I love the freedom of putting down a liine in ink with NO straight-edge.
molly z.

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Melody - thank you so much! BTW - What can be made out of a single yard of fabric? Can you give me some ideas?

Lauren - thank you very much!

Martha - you go girl!

Caren - thank you!

plo - Thank you very much!

Kathy - thank you!

Debbie - thank you, but I've never had the patience to sew and I need bi-focals... it would be a struggle for me.

Stephanie - thank you - now to figure out what to do with the fabrics...

Molly Z - good to hear that you too are going to give it a shot! I made the purple design by adding a purple tint in Picasa. Simple old Picasa. Download it and play with it - it's a pretty easy program.

Simple Living Blogger said...

I'm seeing quilts, cloth napkins, tablecloths, sheets and pillow cases, dish towels all the the Biffy mandalas. These are so gorgeous!!

Anne-Sophie said...

Those fabrics are so beautiful and different.
I have never seen a mandala before I read your blog and this is the first fabric with mandala design I know of.

With a square of fabric, one can make a scarf.
Just a thought.

But, I think I would leave those first few squares of fabric intact as a reminder of your first foray in fabric design.
Who knows? They might end up in the Smithsonian!

The purple is absolutely mind blowing beautiful!

It is of course a perfect Hippy fabric but because you used a dark shade of purple it is suitable for all kind of accessories.

I envision journal covers (those can be made without sewing by using Velcro like grippy fabric which would glue to the corner of the fabric).

Pen rolls.
There is a lady in Maryland who makes pen rolls out of custom fabric.

As a fabric designer you can set up your own Etsy shop and sell not only the fabrics but things made by yourself or others with those fabrics.

This is such a truly unique product that I am sure you can partner with design schools and quilting guilds to have somebody do the actual sewing.

You are an amazing artist!

We want to see more of your mandalas transformed into fabrics.

Go Biffybeans!

PS:I wasn't kidding about the Smithsonian, they show artists who represent their time the best and you as a 21st century Renaissance lady represent the forty something of our generation beautifully!

\\\MAK\\\ said...

These are phenomenal! Well done!

Ms. Pants said...

They look awesome!!

Have you tried the mirror-feature when you're tweaking the designs for Spoonflower? Sometimes you get these really awesome images from mirror-ing it. :-)

AlaskanWriter said...

Fabulous! I never would have guessed that such a site exists, and I'm sure glad to see that it does.

So, how do I go about getting one of those fat quarters of the purple one? Would make a great bandanna/wildrag to wear! :)


Meg Wesley said...

I could see you making pen wraps out of the lovely mandala fabric.

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