Printing…not on paper
Published On: October 16, 2013

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a very good chance that most everyone in your life has a birthday more or less every year.  I, personally, find this super irritating.  I’ve decided I’m just about as old as I need to be, and most folks I know (at least most over the age of 25 or so) feel the same.  Alas, it’s not in my power to change.

So given that pesky reality, I occasionally find myself in need of birthday presents.  I ran out of ideas for these things long long ago, so I’ve taken to blatantly stealing ideas from other people.  This time, the idea was using spoonflower to print old family recipes and make dishcloths.  My mom had the birthday, and my sister was pressed into super secret squirrel service to dig up old recipes of my grandmother’s.  I did the mucking about with images and sewing parts.

Now, these sewing parts were done last minute (shipping took rather longer than expected), which means these pictures were taken rather late at night in my dark dining room.  You’ll have to forgive me.  It was that, or no pics.  And it’s way too good for blog fodder to go the no pics route.

1The process starts by creating the image you want to use.  That meant some quality time with the scanner (my sister’s job) and indesign (my job) to get all the images in a file of the right size and resolution for spoonflower’s system.

2When the fabric comes, it’s got a good bit of selvage around the outside, so all of the image you provided is printed on useable fabric.

3It does mean a fair bit of trimming though.  I’m usually a fabric ripper, rather than a cutter, if I’m dealing with long, straight lines.  Something about the weave of this fabric (I used the linen cotton canvas) meant it would tear one way, but not the other, so I had to cut that direction.

4After the trimming came the ironing, first to make the fabric flat, then to turn the edges under.  We all know how I feel about ironing.  I’m still petitioning to have ‘sewing’ renamed ‘ironing with extra stabbing.’  Barry kept the ironed pieces safe.

5Very safe.  He may, in fact, have insisted he be left to guard them all night.

6After that, it was just a matter of sewing them up.  You will all graciously pretend I am able to sew a straight line.  Failing that, you’ll not mention it unless you’re also coming over here to do it for me.

I like how they came out.  I’m impressed with the print quality, and I think the fabric will just get softer with washing.  I will never come to revel in ironing, but I think this has great potential to either preserve a sentimental image in a useful form (I’m a terrible bear of a person and have a hard time hanging onto things for purely sentimental reasons…they need to be useful for me to want to keep them) or make exactly what you want if you have a specific vision in mind.  Anybody else see some potential in custom printed fabric?

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