Salt and Pepper Fabric Collection
I love, love, LOVE bright colors - but you know what I also use a lot of?
Black and white.
They go with everything!
Unless I'm making eyes and noses, I don't usually want flat black or flat white. I want tone on tone prints that will look natural with the other tone on tone prints I use for my applique.
So I created this collection of tone-on-tone blenders in salt (white and very light grey) and pepper (black and very dark grey).
I love them!
These are all part of the larger Animal Kingdom color palette as well - I've just pulled them all together into one collection here for easier shopping.
The button will take you directly to the full fabric collection on Spoonflower - a separate website. Shiny Happy World coupons won't work on that site, but they almost always have a sale of some kind going on. Check the banner at the top of the page when you get to their site.
If you've never ordered from Spoonflower before, click on the tabs below to find step-by-step instructions and information about my favorite fabric bases and the quantities I order for my own quilts.
When you place an order on Spoonflower, they custom print whatever design you like on whatever base fabric you choose. My two favorite fabrics for quilting are Petal Signature Cotton and Organic Cotton Sateen. I did extensive testing of both before I started using them in my own quilts - you can find those results here.
Both types will be very crisp when they arrive. Just like any fabric, I highly recommend pre-washing before you use it. It softens up beautifully.
Petal Signature Cotton
Petal Signature Cotton is a high quality quilting cotton with a thread count of 120.
When you use it for raw-edge applique with fusible adhesive, you'll get a nice, soft frayed edge - but it won't fray past your stitching line.
The printable width is 42 inches. This is the fabric base I use for all my background blocks.
Organic Cotton Sateen
Organic Cotton Sateen is a very high quality fabric. The thread count is a whopping 220 and it's smoother and slightly lighter weight than the Petal Signature Cotton.
When you use it for raw-edge applique with fusible adhesive, you'll get almost no fraying.
The printable width is 56 inches. This is the fabric base I use for all my applique fabric.
How to Order
One of my favorite things about ordering from Spoonflower is the ability to use their Fill a Yard feature to order smaller quantities of a very wide range of fabrics. This is perfect for the kind of quilts I like to make!
Here's how to use that feature.
Choose or Create a Collection
The Shop on Spoonflower button will take you directly to the Salt and Pepper Blenders collection, but if you have a free Spoonflower account you can also create your own collections - a very handy way to shop for fabric for a specific project. In the examples below I'm showing a collection I created for my sample Lovable Mutts quilt.
Here's what the collection page looks like.
Click the Start Designing button to get started.
Choose Your Fabric Base and Design Layout
The Start Designing button will bring up a page that looks like this.
First choose your layout. Choose the layout, then your fabric base, then click the Design Your Project button.
You can't use every layout for every fabric base - it all depends on the width of the fabric. Above you see the settings I choose to get 12 inch squares printed on Petal Signature Cotton - perfect for the background blocks in all my quilts.
Below you'll see the settings I use most often for Organic Cotton Sateen - my favorite choice for applique pieces.
Design Your Fabric
Now comes the fun part! You get to pick which fabric goes where.
The layout I chose above for the Petal Signature Cotton creates a grid of 6-inch squares.
Since I want 12-inch squares, I fill four squares with the same design. Choose your fabric from the menu on the right, and click to place it in the grid on the left.
Spoonflower will print out exactly what you choose for that grid, so keep rearranging until you're happy with it, then click the Add to Cart button.
Here's how I fill the grid when I use Organic Cotton Sateen as my fabric base.
This option gives you two yards of fabric with a grid of 9-inch squares. Most of the time when I buy fabric I like 9x18 inch pieces (very close to a fat eighth, which is 9x20 inches). For that I fill two blocks side by side with the same design, as you see with the yellow, green and orange fabrics above.
Sometimes I want more like a fat quarter (which is typically 18x20 inches). For that I'll fill four squares of the grid, making an 18x18 inch square. That's what you see with the blue, pink and purple fabrics above.
Below you'll find yardage suggestions for all my quilt sizes. (You can find more info about all my different quilt sizes here.)
Please note! This is just the yardage needed for the appliques. It does not include the background blocks, backing or binding.
These are for simple grids of square blocks - no sashing, borders, or half blocks. If you're playing with your layouts, you'll need to adjust accordingly.
Petal Signature Cotton
Petal Signature Cotton fabric is 42 inches wide and you can use the Fill-a-Yard feature to buy one yard of fabric - enough to applique 15-20 blocks.
For an Itty Bitty Baby quilt you'll need 1 yard.
For a Crib or Nap size quilt you'll need 2 yards.
For a Twin size you'll need 4 yards.
For a Queen size you'll need 5 yards.
For a King size you'll need 6-7 yards.
Organic Cotton Sateen
Organic Cotton Sateen fabric is 56 inches wide and you can use the Fill-a-Yard features to buy fabric in 2-yard increments - enough to applique 30-40 blocks.
For an Itty Bitty Baby quilt you'll need 1 unit (2 yards) - and you'll have leftovers you can use for binding and backing.
For a Crib size quilt you'll need 1 unit (2 yards) - and you'll have a little bit leftover.
For a Nap size quilt you'll need 1-2 units (2-4 yards). You might be able to get away with one unit - but it'll be cutting things a bit close. If you're not going to be very careful with your layouts, or if you're going to be making a lot of very chunky animals, I'd recommend getting 2 units (4 yards).
For a Twin size you'll need 2 units (4 yards).
For a Queen size you'll need 3 units (6 yards).
For a King size you'll need 3-4 units (6-8 yards).