Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spoonflower Test Prints

Spoonflower Test Prints

Spoonflower Test Print - Dimetrodon

Spoonflower Test Print - Stegosaurs

Spoonflower Test Print - Amargasaurus

My first three test prints have arrived from Spoonflower! Overall, I'm really happy with how everything looks. The colors are beautifully vibrant and the design details clear and sharp. The colors also turned out surprisingly close to how they look on my screen. The fabric is soft and seems to be great quality. These are in the quilting weight cotton. They're slightly thinner than most quilting weight cottons I've worked with, but not enough of a difference to bother me. I should also mention that these aren't the actual test swatch sizes (8"x8"), they're fat quarters (21"x18"). My patterns are scaled too large to get much of an idea of how they look on just the test swatch size.

On several message boards, people were discussing that most of the darker colors tend to print lighter than expected from Spoonflower. Based on these, I would disagree. The gray (on the background of the Dimetrodon pattern and the cracked earth on the Stegosaurus one) turned out quite a bit darker than I thought they would. A couple of the other colors did as well, though not as noticeably.

So, now I have to decide what changes to make before putting in my big order of these three patterns. I need to get the order in tonight or tomorrow, so no major changes! I know for sure I'll lighten up that gray slightly. The gray on the Stegosaurus pattern did turn out looking a bit bluish, and now I realize it's the warm green background making it look that way. So I'm considering changing it to a different color completely. The other color that's making me nervous is that mustardy-orangey-brown neutral (I'm pointing to it above). I'm afraid some people will find it to be kind of an ugly color, but I like it. I like seeing something somewhat neutral that's a little unexpected like that mixed with brights. I'm not sure if it will seem too out of place with the other colors though. Hmmm, I'm going to be very busy today/night/as the sun comes up tomorrow....

Why yes, we do have a green crushed velvet couch from the '70s. That picture (first one above) doesn't show its full glory, but take it from me, it's a real beauty.


  1. They are really gorgeous, well done! I have just started trying to figure out what to do for my first Spoonflower attempt so really appreciate all the info :)

  2. Just adorable! Do you do your layouts in CMYK or RGB?

  3. Nice job on the designs..... like the the subject matter and colors a lot!!

    I have just discovered Spoonflower also, and have lots of questions too. My main concern is how to get the repeats to work and still appear to be randomly placed.... have lots to learn, I'm sure.

    Thanks for sharing your information.

    PS: Love your blog header!!!

  4. lovely. I just discovered spoonflower too- did a couple of test prints and was quite happy with them. I found that the dark colours printed quite well, even though I had also heard that there could be issues with them.

  5. Colours look great...I vote regularly on spoonflower and my main criteria is would I choose it to sew with it...yours would get my vote. Now all I have to do is learn how to put my own designs together. :)

  6. Thanks so much everyone!! Tracy, Spoonflower recommends using LAB or RGB for the most predictable results, so I've been using RGB. In fact, I've been limiting myself to only the 171 colors on the Spoonflower color guide:
    So far, it's going great with just those. When I compared the colors on my color guide to my test prints, they were all pretty much right on.

    Yeah, the repeats can get confusing. The layering is so complex and the scaling so large on these patterns that it turned out to be easier to "fake" the repeats - lay them out manually in Illustrator in documents the same size as the largest single piece of fabric I would need printed. It's a tedious process, but it works!