Dipping my toe into Spoonflower

Over the last few months I’ve been gradually uploading designs to Spoonflower, the fabric printing company, with the eventual aim of selling them.    At the end of last year I won a free giveaway they were offering, of a pattern and 3 yards of the fabric of my choice, so that gave me the impetus to get going.  I still haven’t ordered the fabric but I have ordered swatches of a number of designs so that I can check the colours are what I expected.

Those haven’t arrived yet, but earlier this year Spoonflower offered a free swatch printing on a new fabric, silky faille, so I took advantage of it, and was pleased with the results:

swatch of spoonflower fabric I ordered

Swatch of my fabric design!

You can see the full design here.

Spoonflower also run monthly design competitions based on various themes, and this month’s is lilies, so since I had one which fits the bill, I decided to enter it.  I don’t suppose it has much chance of winning as there are a huge lot of entries this month, but I would love it if you could vote for my design here!  This is a screenshot of it:

Spoonflower lilies

Here is my spoonflower shop widget with pics of a few of the designs:

Decluttering the printing surface

the piles of junk on my worktable - before pic

Ick! What a mess!

I thought I’d share a few pics of my workroom.  This is what my printing table normally looks like.   As though an art supply shop had vomited all over it.  With some haberdashery chucked in for good measure.

messy worktable

Hmm, a bit messy, eh?

Every so often I have to have a good clear out or it gets too much to create anything there, it seems to mess up my head as well.

stripped back to the bare bones

One afternoon I decided to clear everything off and put the dropcloth in the washing machine.  This is what the print table looks like underneath all that clutter.  Wow, wish it looked like this all the time!


I have a large piece of MDF laid on top of the table, and a piece of carpet underlay over that, which creates the soft surface for printing.


Here is the table with a clean dropcloth on top, bearing the dyeing marks from a previous printing session or ten!

Wish I could say it still looks like that now, but unfortunately it is more like the top photo again… that clean table top lasted less than a day.  But it definitely unleashed some creativity…

African Fabric Quilt

I actually made a quilt the other day!  And it is the biggest I’ve ever made – it is just a bit bigger than single bed size – not remarkable for most quilters, but even when I did City & Guilds the largest I made was a lapquilt sized wall quilt and most of the others have been art ones.

African quilt draped over chair

African fabric quilt all finished!

It is made from African Dutch wax prints fabric – it is very colourful, isn’t it?  The quilting wouldn’t win any prizes but I was pleased to actually finish something.  I quite enjoyed just mindlessly sewing without having to make too many design decisions along the way.

colourful quilt

Very colourful!

colourful quilt

Don’t look too closely at the stitching!

I watched a Youtube video on making jelly roll quilts and there was a pile of African fabrics on my shelves so I cut them into strips and rolled them up… The Missouri Quilt Company who made the video have a channel on Youtube with lots of others if you feel like a good browse…

jelly roll in African fabric

Not as neat as purchased jelly rolls!

jelly roll

Very colourful and inspiring seeing all these patterns rolled up together!

another view of jelly roll

Looks good from all angles… 
Sewing machine with some of the fabric

That particular fabric was used for the borders – DH bought it back from Zambia for me.

Papery Pinterest Boards

Continuing the paper theme, I’ve been immersed in Pinterest for a while, and have several paper related boards.

Liz's pinterest boards

A selection of my Pinterest Boards

Relevant boards are:






I love paper!

So, on we go with the PaperLove Bloghop!

my chaotic paper storage paper piles

This is part of my paper storage – as you can see it is a bit in need of a clearout.  I got the metal racks in Poundstretcher or a similar shop and they are a bit prone to collapsing without warning and causing an avalanche.  In those shoeboxes I’ve got all my smaller pieces of decorative papers or printed Gocco papers arranged according to subject and the larger pieces are on the top.


I have lots of different papers: corrugated paper/card (that is good for printing too); thin, translucent Japanese washi paper; strong thin lokta paper that can be stitched into (made in Nepal); old paper used for legal documents and old maps, with a sort of stringy mesh texture; printed paper bags (the one in the picture is a William Morris design).  The black and white photo on the top right is masking tape – I used it as a resist when I was printing Birth of a City; when I took it off, I stuck it randomly on to paper.

different language newspapers papers3a

I love printing and painting on old newspapers too – here are a few in my collection.  Great for using in collage! I just love paper because it is so versatile and, like fabric, can be made from all sorts of plant material, cut, torn, stitched and used in lots of projects.  The yellow swirly pattern (top right) is a Gocco print – I made the screen from a doodle – and various other painted papers.


So what do I do with them?  Here are some more of the painted papers – the orange and black one was decorated when I painted old train tickets with black and white gesso – I put the orange painted paper underneath rather than use old newspaper or something else to protect the table and it made a very efffective design.


Left photo is Japanese paper I got from Falkiners in London – they have the most gorgeous paper and bookbinding equipment too.  Right photo is a double sided wrapping paper I bought somewhere, I love it!


Tissue paper painted with fluid acrylics, blue art paper printed with corrugated card to produce the white stripes.

papersprint Left: mostly packing paper that produces amazing texture when painted.  Right: Gocco printed skyscraper screened over some paper that I’d already smooshed paint over (I think it was one of those paint effects where you splash paint on, put another sheet of paper over the top and pull them apart to produce that smooshy texture).


birds gocco printed on various papers

More gocco printing, birds this time – on various surfaces.

altered tickets
This is what I’ve done with some of the old train tickets – I can never throw anything out! I’m planning to use them as tags or perhaps even business cards.

So what do I use these papers for?  Well, here is a pile of handmade journals for a start…

handmade journals

Or see my tutorial on How to Make a Concertina Book

checking pages are not stuck together where they shouldn't be

Hmm, this post is getting a bit long; think I’ll continue the paper theme for a few more posts…


bloghop button

Here are the other participants in the Paperlove BlogHop:

Majo Bautista / Tona Bell Louise Best Cathy Bluteau / Jennifer Bomgardner / Giova Brusa / Lindsay Buck / Beka Buckley / Joanna Caskie / Jonathan Chapman (Mr Yen) / Halle Cisco / Sarah Clare / Cathryn Clarge / Dawn Clarkson / Rhiannon Connelly Jenny D’Fuego / Molly Dhiman / Ian Dudley / Ayisatu Emore / Akmal Farid / Monika Forsberg / Claire Fritz-Domeney / Louise Gale / Chrissy Gaskell / Julie Hamilton / Emma Hawman / Rachel Hazell / Holly Helgeson / Claudine Hellmuth / Kim Henkel / Sarah Hoffman / Joanne Hus / Paula Joerling / Beth Kempton / Julie Kirk / Eos Koch / Katie LaClair / Kristy Lankford / Michelle Manolov / Doreen Marts Rosie Martinez-Dekker / Tori Mears / Maria Mederios / Lise Meijer / Debbie Miller / MaryJane Mitchell / Suzy Naidoo / Grace Noel / Hannah Nunn / Camilla Olsson / Jo Packham / Rachelle Panagarry / Monette Pangan / Melanie Paul Nicole Piar / Jen Pitta / Liz Plummer Julie Reed /

The PaperLove Blog Hop is a celebration of all things paper! Follow the links to discover more bloggers who love paper and use it to inspire and delight. And if you want to explore a whole world of paper, and stretch your paper passion further with a host of creative projects, why not join the innovative new online course PaperLove (starts March 31). Led by book artist Rachel Hazell, PaperLove is a five week creative adventure for paper lovers. Find out more here

Signs of Spring

This winter has been a long, wet, dreary one.  Not particularly cold (sorry, American friends!) but at times we wondered if Britain was going to sink under the weight of water pouring from the sky…

But on my walk on Friday I saw definite signs of the new spring life popping up everywhere…

daffodils cherry blossom green shoots flower leaves forget-me-nots catkins welsh countryside green leaves view from Ridgeway in the sun heather 2014-03-07 14.47.22

crocus inside crocus primula crocus

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