Spoonflower: fabric to order

The Better Homes and Gardens craft editor changed my life last week. And if you’re the sort of person who loves fabric, I may just be about to change yours by passing on her news.

You know that feeling, the one where you have the perfect fabric in your head to make that new project? Maybe it’s a classic geometric for a gorgeous quilt, or a floral for a cool new handbag – you know exactly what you want. Let’s say it’s a print that looks like an old newspaper, in simple black and white type. You head down to the shops.

OK, so it’s not at the shops. Shops aren’t what they used to be, you’re not put off, you head to the internet instead, and you start to search.

And search … and search … There are some gorgeous ones out there, like this, but it’s just too homey, or this, but it’s obviously not real news … In fact, as you search, you realise that what you really want is a Downton Abbey-inspired Sinking of the Titanic fabric, with newspaper pages like these! But it only exists in your head.

Not anymore! Armed with nothing more than basic computer skills and a rudimentary understanding of copyright law*, you can have your own Titanic frock! Or, in fact, any fabric you want.

It’s all thanks to Spoonflower, a fantastic US-based company that lets you upload designs and will print it for you on fabrics from quilting cotton, to organic interlock cotton to silk crepe de chine: check out the full range and prices here.

Now that would already have been enough to make my crafty week, but it gets better. Not only can you order anything from a 20cm-square swatch to a roomful of your fabric, but you get 10% off all your own designs, 20% if you order more than 20 yards (a bit over 18m). What’s more, if someone else out there has been dying for a Titanic frock, you get 10% of the money when they order fabric from your design! So if you’ve always longed to become a designer, this is your perfect opportunity, especially while the Aussie dollar is so high against the US$.

And, of course, you can buy fabric from other designers, too. There are tens of thousands of designs available. We’ve found a few faves …

For a keen gardener:
Peony

For a gorgeous apron or dessert tablecloth:
Vintage Desserts

For a cat-loving kid:
Cats keep the ball rolling

For the Household Geek:
(Small) Eleven Traveling Doctors and Blue Phone Boxes

For the time-poor toymakers (check out the finished product):

Little Red Riding Hood Pocket Dolls

And for any teens going through a Goth phase:
Salem Witch Trials Toile

*Anything published in the US before 1923 is free of copyright, so American reports of the sinking of the Titanic would be fine. In the UK, unsigned articles come out of copyright at the end of 70 years after they are printed, while signed articles expire 70 years after the author’s death. For papers that are still in circulation, it’s best to write to the editor and check about reproduction rights.

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