05 January 2010

Spoonflower's for the birds, thankfully

Kim Fraser and the gang at Spoonflower have managed to combine two of my favorite topics in a Fabric of the Week contest on their site this week. Those two topics are mass customization and birds in case you were wondering.

Spoonflower prints small-lot custom fabrics and I wrote about them quite a bit last summer. 2010 will mark their second year in business and I'm sure that anybody up there will tell you that the last two years have been one heckuva ride. Business has exploded for them and how could it not? Spoonflower allows anybody with a computer to design and have manufactured fabrics for use in home accessories or sewing with no minimums. It's incredible really and in the time that they've been doing their thing, they've built up a vibrant community around their company and the fabrics they produce.

One of the ways they build community is through a weekly Fabric of the Week contest. Every week, they pick a subject and hold a design contest based on that subject. They announce these contests through Spoonflower's blog and you can find it here. Voting ended yesterday for their Mythical Creatures contest and voting starts today on the subject of birds.

Spoonflower's contests highlight some amazing fabrics and some real talent. Most of the designers who enter every week are not professionals, rather they are regular folks with a passion for fabric design. What's cooler still is that you can buy any of the fabrics that catch your eye.

Paying attention to Spoonflower's Fabric of the Week contests is a great way to spend some time around some seriously creative people and it's a good way to keep an eye out for fabrics to turn into throw pillows, window treatments or anything else you can think of. Check it out!

In the meantime, here are some of the fabrics from the Birds contest that have caught my eye so far. What do you think?

Caroline Blue

Caroline Blue by Giltgoods

This one's for Melody McFarland:

A Parade of Pigeons, Yellow

A Parade of Pigeons --Yellow by Charclam


Western Meadowlark by Nightgarden

Bird on a Wire, yellow

Bird on a Wire by Nalo Hopkinson

Brick Bird

Brick Bird by Nalo Hopkinson

Caroline - Fern Colorway

Caroline Fern by Giltgoods


Birds by Lydia Meiying


Cardinal by Aimee Elizabeth


birdlovesky by Kim Lennox

And remember, they are just some designs that caught my eye. Believe me, there are plenty more. Hats off to everyone who enters Spoonflower's contests while I'm at it. Anybody who engages in this kind of self-expression's OK in my book and to do so in public elevates them to nearly heroic status. Bravi! And on behalf of creatives everywhere I'd like to thank Spoonflower for opening up such a great space and allowing people to do their thing.


  1. Hey there! Happy new year! I agree wholeheartedly. Poike around through those contest entries, the one I highlighted is one of three color combos of that pattern. It's pretty cool stuff.

  2. I hadn't gone to look at this site when you'd mentioned it previously and now I'm wondering why not! Wow, so very neat. My daughter is a budding artist and seamstress; I think she'd love to create her own fabric to sew her wardrobe with. Thanks Paul.

  3. Nim: You should know better than to question my links. Hah! Spoonflower taps into something really basic in a lot of people and I think it's a tremendous resource for a young person interested in design and clothing construction. Besides, Kim and the gang will take great care of her.

  4. omg. omg. omg. Speechless. I have a thing for fabric. I can't explain it. So combine fabric and birds...oh god.

  5. Hah! I was wondering when you'd see this one Mel.


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