Collaborative COLOURlovers Project: Spoonflower Quilt for a Queen

Collaborative COLOURlovers Project: Spoonflower Quilt for a Queen

So many great things have happened on COLOURlovers in 2011, but one major, behind the scenes project that only a very small portion of members have been aware of was a quilt project straight from the heart of the Group: COLOURlovers on Spoonflower.

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Group administrator, leader and very involved COLOURlover, Penina, wanted her group to be something more than just a group of people who loved the idea of fabric. So one fine day back in July 2011, after coordinating ideas to make a digital quilt from the group member creations, she had the thought, “What’s stopping us from making a real quilt?!

Penina wanted this quilt project to have purpose and to involve as many group members as possible. This also meant that the final piece would need to have a good home at a single location; so who would get the quilt?

Before designing began, group members had to decide on a theme. Unknown to one another, a handful of COLOURlovers independently suggested the same idea, a Cancer Healing Quilt. Many offered the idea with a particularly beloved COLOURlover in mind, o2bqueen, (a.k.a. Linda) who had shared her personal cancer journey (which she is still going through) on her COLOURlovers profile. With that in mind, the secret project started...

Official Spoonflower color test swatch created by Penina 

And so began the first COLOURlovers on Spoonflower cooperative project: a queen-sized quilt made from colors, palettes and original templates submitted by members of the COLOURlovers community.


This turned in to much of a learning experience for many COLOURlovers (see the postpartum "what I learned thread in the group here) including Penina as the project coordinator and group leader. Under her very involved leadership, the project began when members voted on a seven color palette.


Project Colors Links by ycc2106

Next, each contributor combined the chosen palette colors in the variation they thought best featured their submitted template. This is where some COLOURlovers learned exactly how the protection of works literally works on COLOURlovers. After learning the in and out of the COLOURlovers rules, some participants were unable to be involved since it required the submitting of your own template.

During the last days of pattern submission, a couple of colors seemed to become the most prominent choice as the background for many of the patterns. At this point, additional COLOURlovers were invited to participate and their submissions helped reestablish the balance of colors which provided enough squares for the quilt to be queen-sized.

Completed submissions were printed via Spoonflower. There was some discussion on how how this was to work as a collaborative project. Between COLOURlovers copyright restrictions and needing to order from a single Spoonflower account, each participant had to email their SVG of the colored Template to Penina who put them in to a group run, not for sale status, account on Spoonflower called, COLOURlovers on Spoonflower.

This solution actually turned out to be beneficial to the group on COLOURlovers because it has since turned in to a feature group on Spoonflower where Penina can utilize it in a number of ways as it showcases the group and member designs on Also, she has provided a link to each pattern (on COLOURlovers) and put the username of the designer in the details. Lastly, this established group can also be used in the future for more collaborative Spoonflower projects.

pictured, Dannielle (aka sundancer)

The swatches were sent to a talented charter member of the group, Dannielle (a.k.a. sundancer), who enthusiastically volunteered to sew it.

Originally, meant to feature the finished quilt on the blog in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dannielle’s timeline for sewing up a queen size quilt was insanely short as swatches were arriving in the first weeks of October.

left: Dannielle / sundancer: All the swatches cut to size and ready to sew! right: Special Thread

She began cutting the fabric as soon as the package arrived. Shopped for additional materials for the quilt’s back, border, binding and batting at her local fabric store. With her own unique thread, she sewed by hand and with her sewing machine. Although she has made many quilts for others, she admits “I’ve never made a quilt that fast!

During the four weeks it took to finish the quilt, Dannielle joyfully continued, even when her personal responsibilities intensified unexpectedly. Group members posted encouraging comments for her and she posted photos of the quilt as it progressed. Excitement really began to build as fellow COLOURlovers saw Dannielle’s loving heart and high standard of excellence reflected in the quilt’s construction.

As her deadline neared, Dannielle says she gave up a little sleep and postponed some housework to get the job done. She also had numerous fights with her sewing machine that threatened a delay. Ultimately, these arguments were settled by her seam ripper, which Dannielle calls “a quilter’s best friend.” Finally ready, the quilt was sent off to ketisse for a special lunch-date delivery to o2bqueen / Linda.

left: ketisse, right: Linda / o2bqueen - having lunch!

After all the months of work that was put in to this top secret project, not to mention, keeping it a secret, the tension started surpassing the excitement, what if Linda / o2bqueen did not want us to surprise her with a quilt centered around her cancer? What would we do with it then?

left: ketisse, right: o2bqueen / Linda

This was clamped as quickly as the hesitation came when Linda excitedly and warmly responded to our reaching out to her and she welcomed the gift, overjoyed:

" I love, love, love it. It's gorgeous, ingenious, inspiring, and joyful, and every time I see it, I will feel loved. How can I ever thank you enough for such a gift?"

"Not till I read your note did I realize how many people were involved in the project. I teared up big time. And I thought to myself, "However did they all keep this secret from me?" I do hope the experience was fun and rewarding for all of you." - Linda / o2bqueen (provided by sundancer / Dannielle)

It so happened, the very week ketisse was due to try to meet with and deliver the quilt, Linda was having yet, another recovery surgery and this meant so much to her to have something positive from the community she so loved and it was delivered in time, right before her 6th surgery.

o2bqueen / Linda holding the folded quilt to take home

Best wishes to Linda (o2bqueen) on the road to healing on behalf of the entire COLOURlovers on Spoonflower members. Many members were still a part of the process even when they were unable to submit a custom template.

Finished quilt

Funding & Sponsorship for this project most generously provided by Spoonflower:

Printing a collection on Spoonflower as a Swatch Sampler will save you money when assembling a project like a quilt.

You can order a batch of swatches for all the designs in a collection in a single 'swatch sampler'. A sampler for a collection of 1-5 designs is $12, 6-15 designs is $20, and 16-30 designs is $35. At as little as ~$1.20 per swatch, this is the most cost effective way to order swatches at Spoonflower. Swatches are the same quality fabric as ordering a fuller selection of fabric.

Be sure you are familiar with the color changes (Spoonflower Color Guide), before printing an entire collection. Creating a color palette for an entire collection and then printing a proof swatch is the smartest way to avoid a major mistake and waste of money.

Templates used for this project and laid out in a digital quilt which links to the Spoonflower version of each template, which in turn links back to COLOURlovers (kindly assembled by ycc2106):


Much of this story and content of this article was written by Ketisse. Posted as a collaboration with my editing and a few portions written by me (mollybermea).

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Showing 1 - 30 of 55 Comments
Oh!!! This is fantastic!!! well done!!! Congratulations to everyone!
it looks really great!! :)
Thank you so much everyone! That was one of my highlights in 2011. I'm so glad to be able to read this blog article and reminiscence on that wonderful experience.
Wow. What a fabulous idea, project, collaboration, quilt, and story. You guys blow me away. And it couldn't have gone to a sweeter, more inspiring person than Linda.
♥♥♥♥♥ k
What a touching story! Congratulations to everyone involved! The quilt looks absolutely beautiful!
*hits like button*

Oh how i hope all goes well for Linda :) She's very much well loved. Posts like this are fantastic and really inspiring to have. :)
Oh I so wish I had known this was going on!! I would have loved to participate! This is wonderful!
This is beautiful and heartwarming. I feel that I can relate to it especially because my dad was diagnosed with cancer this year. I hope Linda's doing good. :D
How kind and how many work!!!! Congrats everybody who were participating in this great project!!!
Thanks so much, everyone!
It's exciting to think about this project all over again. It was such a magical experience, and o2bqueen is an inspiring "recipient" :-) I hope the healing from surgery is happening smoothly, quickly.

… and I'm looking forward to more projects in 2012 and beyond!

If you'd like to play, or just want to share your Colourlovers-to-Spoonflower journey, please join our group!
Does anyone have suggestions for the next COLOURlovers-to-Spoonflower project? I'm sure it will be more publicized this time. :) Spoonflower is willing to sponsor future projects as well as provide giveaways. So tell me what you want in 2012!

- Molly
Community Curator / Blog Editor
Hi Molly!
We are looking at some No Sew projects. Take a look at some of the discussion by clicking here.
This is such a beautiful thing. Have a Happy New Year everyone!
Excellent! Great direction to point everyone. I will keep my eyes peeled for some good no-sew projects! I like the pinterest board link. Great idea too.

Penina wrote:
Hi Molly!
We are looking at some No Sew projects. Take a look at some of the discussion by clicking here.
What a neat idea. I love this community. It's really a 21st century sewing circle : )
mollybermea wrote:
Does anyone have suggestions for the next COLOURlovers-to-Spoonflower project?

I think we should do another quilt but this time, break up the sewing between different members who like to sew. I also like the idea of découpage and we could also make a really cool CLOTH SCRAPBOOK with COLOURlovers fabric and pictures of members or something that represents that member.

There is a member here who is making a children's storybook using COLOURlovers patterns and I think that's a really great idea, too!!
Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!

Molly and Ketisse, what a terrific article! Thank you both so much for bringing this wonderful project and the beautiful participants to the forefront, especially here at the holidays. Thanks, to you Molly for all the contributions you made to turn the vision into a reality for everyone. And, Ketisse, thank you for being so persistent and patient with me.

Many people from the group have sent their love, prayers, and good wishes over the past six weeks. The surgery was successful in the sense that both breasts are at the same height, though they're not quite the same size. But once again, I'm having complications that are keeping me from being well yet. Currently, I have six sizable, open wounds that are having difficulty healing because of the delicacy of the irradiated tissue involved. I've developed both cellulitis and lymphedema. And pain is still an issue.

But I remain as positive as I can, and my quilt has been a constant companion. It resides in the family room, and I can't tell you how many compliments it's received. People think it is beautiful and contains the perfect colors for me. And each admirer is awestruck by the love it embodies.

Because I couldn't be on CL most of the time, "my baby" has served as a reminder of all the people who have shown enormous love and who root for my health. I so wish I could hug each and every one of you and shower you with big slurpy mwahs.

As the new year begins, I deeply hope that I can return everyone's love in kind. You are all so precious to me.

@o2bqueen / Linda what sweet words! Thanks for the update on your surgery and condition. That sounds like a lot of trial for you, but you remain such a positive person. I'm glad you are able to have a COLOURlovers quilt when you are not able to visit us regularly.

I am still amazed at the thoughtfulness and work this community has put in to such a meaningful and heartfelt project, for someone they only knew as a member of this community, it really shows how very special and close-knit we can be here without even realizing it. :)

Good luck to you Linda and I think I can speak for us all, we hope you're health continues to get better and that we continue to see your lovely creations and presence on COLOURlovers quite soon!
There are so many potential ideas! I like the idea of a no-sew project where everyone could get a piece of their work and a larger project would also be fun to do again. Penina is an awesome project manager, I must say!

sundancer wrote:
mollybermea wrote:
Does anyone have suggestions for the next COLOURlovers-to-Spoonflower project?

I think we should do another quilt but this time, break up the sewing between different members who like to sew. I also like the idea of découpage and we could also make a really cool CLOTH SCRAPBOOK with COLOURlovers fabric and pictures of members or something that represents that member.

There is a member here who is making a children's storybook using COLOURlovers patterns and I think that's a really great idea, too!!
mollybermea wrote:
There are so many potential ideas! I like the idea of a no-sew project where everyone could get a piece of their work and a larger project would also be fun to do again. Penina is an awesome project manager, I must say!

Yes she is!!! I have another idea: Cloth Christmas cards for 2012. If we start on them now, they'll be ready by this time next year.
I am so happy to have participated in this project and to have gotten better acquainted with my virtual COLOURlover friends. I spoke with some of them on the phone and even met one in person. That was a highlight of the year for me.

Maybe for the future, we can create things that are auctioned for charity and post the auction results in a group thread. Whether it is stationary (paper or cloth), framed art or cloth sculpture, there is a market for the things we create here. This may help those of us who are interested to learn how digital art reaches its audience.
@sundancer do you have a sample pic or link to cloth cards (cloth xmas cards)? I am not sure I can visualize that completely. :)
I'll be sending out a note to CL-on-Spoonflower members soon, so we can continue the conversation, but I'm hoping our very next project is something quick and easy, and that participants themselves can keep.
Hi everybody....I love this post and participating in this project had filled my heart..projects like this one is what gives a real meaning to our work in templates and patterns here in CL..As a CL member, I can't find anything better than Turning our creativity for a great purpose...
I suggest for our next project a "cloth storybook for children"...We can sell them and use earnings for some charity.
Thanks to Penina and sundancer for their efforts to make this quilt done...And thanks to
Molly for this great post..I am so glad to be part of this.
Oh gosh, oh gosh! This went right by me :-P
Thank you Molly and sundancer for the acknowledgements!
This Was A Great Blanket! My Brother Have One Of Like This From Grandmother And I Want Like That Of Blanket Too~ <3
Last comment from me on this thread (I swear! haha maybe...), but I just wanted to say also that Penina does AWESOME group newsletters. Short, to the point, and each time she sends them, she welcomes new members with a link list, etc.

I really enjoy reading it each send - makes me feel involved even though I am not so involved in the group as I would like.

Thanks again Penina for being a great group manager!!
I just thought of an idea after the comment from Nie Niez 1702.

Why not create an "easy" (no-cut) version of the quilt with the front printed on one piece of fabric with the squares arranged as sundancer cut and placed them? Add some simple instructions for those who want to make their own replica.

It won't be the same but it will be close.
Lovely indeed.Great idea and collaboration project and work.Happy New Year everyone.Hugs for Linda))
That is beautiful. I've been wanting to do this myself, but I've never made a quilt and I wouldn't know where to start. XD
This is wonderful and awesome my mom just got over breast concer too... what a wonderfull project...

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