FUN with Spoonflower's Fill-A-Yard!

Hello Friends! It’s been ages since I blogged, and now I remember why…. It takes forever to put together an informative post!… From the planning and photography, to the text and editing, yes, it’s a long process, especially for someone who has an endless to-do list.. But, this feature article has been brewing in my mind for several months now, so it’s time to make the time to share and inspire!

As many of you you know, I have a Spoonflower Shop with a growing collection of fabric designs. We really love this source as our Go-To for very unique prints, catered to whatever quantities and fabric types desired. Recently, I started playing with Spoonflower’s new “Fill-A-Yard” feature, and I LOVE it! As a designer, it’s a great way to order my samples in various sizes. This way, I can proof the colors and check the repeats at the block size of my choosing….

Here’s a portion of my most recent designs on a “Fill-A-Project.” (…and yes, I’m standing in our bathroom because the lighting was just right!) Out of several different templates, Spoonflower’s “One Yard Cheater Quilt” option was my choice for this order, and I filled it up with a medley of new designs. I chose to print on their new Petal Signature Cotton, and the results are crisp and the colors, accurate! Yay!!… I plan to cut these swatches apart and photograph them by theme.

Another idea for a “Fill-A-Project” is to arrange matching prints in a coordinating motif. You can alternate designs in a playful checkerboard pattern or scatter a medley of styles into various sized blocks. With this particular template, you can print up to 42 designs in each 6” square. Or, choose to allow some surrounding squares to extend your favorite patterns into larger areas. Arrange them as you wish, place your order and then Quilt it! That’s why they call this one the Cheater Quilt!

The key to a great “Fill-A-Yard” project is to Create a Collection FIRST! Choose from any of my existing Designed Collections, or curate your own from the various designs in my Spoonflower Shop or search Spoonflower’s vast website for something specific and mix and match. Then, choose your Project Template and start arranging your design. It’s that easy…

Screen Captured Example:

I communicate best through images, and hence, visual aids are key. Above is a screen capture of a work-in-progress Cheater Quilt project. At right, is the “Pink Halloween” Collection that I chose to source this particular project from. At left, is the quilt template. Simply click and highlight a specific design from the collection at right, and then click a block on the quilt. From there, arrange and fill it up! …What FUN!

My first “Fill-A-Yard” order was back in early February. I needed to order proofs of my latest Valentines-themed designs, but I also had a No-Sew project in mind. So, I combined those to-do’s into one yard! You can see my V-Day & holiday print blocks covering half of this yard, and my aqua cherry print running along the other side of the yard’s length for my No-Sew experiment. Enjoy Before and After photos below of how that idea turned out!…. (Notice how excited Jack was!)

Here’s what I meant by “cutting the yard up into swatches” for photography. How fun are these playful folk art snowman prints?! I hand-painted these guys during the holidays, and then created the repeat in photoshop. I asked our friends on Instagram what color combos they preferred, and based on popularity, we added all 3! We always appreciate the feedback :) You can click on all of these photos for a larger view…

Again, here are more matching swatches, grouped together in a Valentine’s motif, all cut from my initial Fill-A-Project. Again, I was able to create the block sizes of my choosing. Photos of the actual prints are helpful to communicate the fabric color, texture and quality….

As for the No-Sew Project, we recently mounted some work lights above my studio workbench. JP found these great vintage aluminum brackets, just perfect for the space. But, the unsightly black cords were, well, just that. So, my solution is often “fabric to the rescue!” That’s been one of my Go-To, Fix-It solutions for many years! Just cover anything unsightly with attractive fabric!

Back in the 80s when I was just a kiddo, my mom and I would tear fabric into long strips. We’d wrap all sorts of stuff to create rag baskets, rag balls, rag necklaces and the list goes on. You could say that were very raggedy back then! :) Recently, visions of those rags resurfaced, and that’s when I picked a playful print from my Spoonflower Shop, and added it lengthwise across a portion of my fabric order, with visions of rags in mind….

Here’s the before photo of my “Cherries and Dots on Aqua” fabric…

A few quick pencil tick lines, spaced one inch apart, helped me layout my strips..

Just a snip and a rip at each tick mark, and soon enough, I had a series of long bandage-like strips to start the mummy wrap!


BEFORE, we see the contrasting black cord in all it’s bla bla bla boringness….

……and AFTER, we’ve got playful, colorful, swirling JPD Style!

Here’s a side by side…… The color and whimsical print just makes me giddy! While the boring black cord, just hurts my eyes. I prefer to customize my world with color and pattern whenever I can.. :)

That’s me, touching my mummified cord… And no worries, all of the wrapping efforts happened while “unplugged.”

BOOM! Instant style!…. Well, it took a couple hours and some pre-planning, but who’s counting? :)

Jack approved too! I like how the cords blend in more with my color palette and decor. Upon a closer inspection, you can enjoy the cherry patterns too… Fun from a distance and up close!

Well, I hope I offered a few tips and inspiration with these fun ways to order and play with Spoonflower’s unique fabric! The picture above is the other portion of my recent “Fill-A-Project” order. Yet another yard, it’s a medley of prints for my proofing and marketing. It includes a set of my new retro spring designs as well as last year’s Top #13 Cycling Challenge print and more folk art florals! Sure, it’s a hodge podge….. But, if I’m gonna cut it all up, who cares, right?

The ideas for Filling-A-Yard are endless, and I just wanted to share my excitement! If you have a project such as pillows, this is a great way to block out the alternating fabric for the fronts and backs and maybe add in some strips of blending prints for any trim work, playful patches or ruffles. Test it out, and see what creative ideas bubble up! You can thank me later… hehe!

PS: Share photos of your finished JPD-inspired projects so we can feature you in our Customer Gallery. Happy Sewing or in my case, No-Sewing!


~ Johanna