Friday, April 04, 2014

Indigo, Books and Resources

I didn't realize that my obsession with all things indigo was shared by so many others. My Indigo Pinterest board has more than 450 followers. And without realizing it I've got almost 1,000 images pinned.

Indigo, in the form of Levi's and bandanas seemed like such an American thing. But of course it goes back far beyond anything we've done here. It's fascinating to me that it's history goes far back into Asian and African cultures. And the evolution has led me to start reading more about it.

Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World by Catherine McKinley is a wonderful description of her travels in search of the history of indigo.

Reading that led me to the more scholarly Indigo Textiles: Technique and History by Gosta Sandberg. It's out of print now, and as it's selling for $500+ on Amazon I think I better take a bit better care of my copy. It's filled with recipes and photos of the processes that are really extensive. (I'm happy to copy & share part of it - of course for educational purposes so as not to copyright infringe.)

Now I've just learned there's a new book, that looks really gorgeous. It's more a coffee table book than the Sandberg book, but the photos are amazing.

  Indigo: The Color that Changed the World


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Where to Order On-Demand, Custom Digitally Printed Fabric in Small Runs

8" Swatches from Spoonflower

I've been ordering custom printed fabric from Spoonflower, and as happy as I've been with everything about them, thought I should do due diligence and see what else is out there. Plus, I really would like to find some pure linen for prints for my own clothing and throw pillows. I'm sticking to services located in the U.S. that offer small runs. There are quite a few more companies than I've listed here that offer runs of 100 to 200 yards, but I'm looking for smaller runs than that.

With an easy to use interface and the ability to offer your designs for sale, Spoonflower is my favorite printer. Prices range from $17.50 to $ 38.00 per yard with a 10% discount for designers and a 20% discount for orders over 20 yards. There are weekly contests which give you visibility and let you tap into the Spoonflower community, which has been very welcoming and supportive of my beginner attempts at print design. You can order test swatches for $5, and they offer fat quarters for quilters and crafters. They're quoting a 10 day turn around, buy my last two orders have been faster than that. Shipping is based on weight and comes up in the order window.


A choice of 18 different fabrics, priced from $29.50 to $40 per yard and $5 shipping make this a good alternative to Spoonflower. You can only buy your own designs however, and there's no community as there is on Spoonflower. They promise to ship within 10 days or your order is free. They also have 8" swatch and fat quarter options.


In addition to offering a selection of prints from independent designers that are only available on the site, Modern Yardage offers a custom option on 56" fabric that is priced between $18 and $25 per yard, depending on the amount of ink used.


The 3 yard minimum and $65 - $125 per yard price tag make this out of reach for the casual stitcher. But they have a huge selection of fabrics available and are a good option for a small designer wanting the highest quality goods.

While teaching myself how to create designs in Illustrator and Photoshop, and then put the designs into repeat, I've found two books that manage to answer just about any question I come up with.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Liberate Your Art 2014 Postcard swap


For the fourth year in a row Kat Sloma is hosting a postcard swap. It's meant to inspire artists to document and share their work via postcards. You pop 5 in an envelope and send them off to Kat by March 15, 2014 and you'll get 6 back, one from 5 random artists and one from Kat. I sent 6 because it doesn't seem right that Kat doesn't get one, but that wasn't a requirement. Last year their were 216 participants and she's hoping to reach 250 this year. So join in, it's easy! Complete details and sign-up info are here.
I ordered cards again from I've ordered from other sites, but I like zazzle for small projects like this. I used a watercolor I did a while ago that I've been playing around with lately. My next challenge is to turn it into a repeating pattern. Need a few more days (or weeks?) on Photoshop to figure that one out.....
Watercolor Circles Postcard
Watercolor Circles Postcard
Postcard Back
Postcard Back
Tiger Licking Stamp Envelope
Tiger Licking Stamp Envelope
Kat did a nice blog post today showing a few of the envelopes she'd received, including this one that I sent her.

And here are the cards I received:

from Annie Kelleher

from Eric Muhr

from Jane P.

from Kat Sloma (or fearless leader!)

from Linda Ursin

from Tina W.