Wondering how to buy directional fabric for your sewing project? For a Minky or cheater quilt, it’s pretty straightforward, as long as you understand how Spoonflower prints their fabric.
Directional fabric is fun to look at, but might leave you scratching your head when trying to incorporate it into your next sewing project. We’re not going to get too complicated in this post, but will focus on how to figure out what to buy/get printed when trying to create a Minky quilt from fabric purchased on Spoonflower.
Understanding the Difference between upright and rotated fabric
When browsing fabrics to purchase on Spoonflower, you might notice some prints are facing upright and others sideways. Often, both directions are available for the same print. How do you know which direction to purchase, and does it even matter?
While these prints are identical, except for the direction they’re facing, they’ll print out differently. The vertical direction of each print is the width. This won’t change no matter how many yards of fabric you’ll buy. If you’re buying Minky fabric on Spoonflower, the width of the fabric is set at 54 inches.
The horizonal direction represents the number of yards you buy. It will be 36 inches or more depending on how many yards you buy. So, for example, if you buy 1 yard of Minky fabric, it will be 54 inches by 36 inches, five yards would be 54 inches by 180 inches.
Why the direction matters
Say you wanted to make a Minky blanket with one yard of fabric. Your blanket would be 36 inches wide and 54 inches long. In this case, you’d pick the upright design so the directional pattern faces the right way.
But maybe you want to make a Minky throw with 2 yards of fabric. In this case, you need the rotated fabric to end up with a throw 54 inches wide and 72 inches long.
Below is a visual to help you wrap your head around what I’m talking about:
Does it always matter?
The short answer is no. If you’re creating a throw/blanket/project that is smaller than a yard (say a 12×12 inch Lovey), it doesn’t matter. If you’re creating a large project where you’ll be piecing several pieces of fabric together, it might not matter either. Just keep in mind how the fabric is actually printed out to help you visualize which direction you need to order.
(Of course, if you’re using non-directional fabric, none of this matters at all! But sometimes directional fabric is the best choice for the project you’re creating).
If you feel stuck when ordering fabric for your next project, take a sheet of paper and a pencil and sketch out what the fabric would look like if you ordered a yard or more than one yard and compare it to what your end goal is with the project you’re working on. If you keep in mind the way Spoonflower actually prints the fabric, you should be fine.
Next time you want to buy directional fabric for your Minky throw, you can buy it with confidence!