Limited Edition and Out of Print Designs

Limited Edition and Out of Print Designs

Out of Print Design Patterned Zig Zags

Dealing in the fabric world, I get a lot of questions from people asking why I don’t carry a particular design anymore, when will I get more in, and even how can people print the design themselves.  So, let’s start with the last one real quick…. you can NOT print a design you found somewhere else on your own.  Designs are copyright protected, so you will have to find some elsewhere or move on to another design. Sorry! (On a side note, only certain types of fabric can be print on demand. Flannel fabric cannot be printed, but regular cotton or fleece can.)

Limited Edition Fabrics

Just about 99% of the fabric out there should be called Limited Edition.  Designs are typically considered “seasonal” and rarely released more than once.  Even if they are released again, ALL batches are limited.  Let’s face it, no matter how popular a design is, a company will only have a certain amount of it manufactured.  They cannot spend all of their time manufacturing only one design, so they might say print up 16,000 yards of design A, 10,000 yards of design B, and 12,000 yards of design C… etc.  Of course, that’s larger companies.  Many of the smaller companies may have a much lower amount of a design that is printed.

So, basically as long as a design is still in stores it can be considered a Limited Edition fabric.  Will it ever come back out again? The answer is simply maybe.  Some designs are released once, twice, three times, or continuously.  Even the continuous designs are limited each year, though, but those would not be considered Limited Edition because they WILL be released again.  For most designs, they will never be seen from again through the same company.  There are some designs that are re-designed with a different color variation or an addition or removal of an image in the design, etc.  Some are simply shifted from one fabric type to another.  There might be some formula used for all of the confusion, but I really believe that someone is hired to tell companies what is popular and what isn’t and then the companies may do research or just make their own decisions on the designs.  I’ve never worked for a fabric company (except my own), so I’m not sure on the exact procedure… but I can tell you what I’ve seen over the years.

A major question I get is “When will the design come back out again if it is re-released?”.  The answer: It’s hard to say for sure.  I can tell you that many of the designs really do come out the same month the next year.  However, some of the designs that I’ve seen come back out again will be released 8 months later while others are 18 months.  There is probably a few reasons why this happens. Sometimes a design that was released in the middle of summer ends up being more popular than anticipated, so they might shift it to a time that they feel more fabric sells.  The opposite might occur, as well, and the company might think a design is still popular enough to sell, but they want to limit it more so they shift it to a slower time of the year.  I really think, though, that the manufacturer’s have a lot to do with dictating when a design ends up being released.  If they have too many designs at a particular time then maybe it pushed back the timeframe for one that was going to be released next.  Maybe the red ink ran out and they had a delay getting some more in (yes I have seriously heard of this happening).  Depending on the country it is being manufactured in, they might take a month off which will push back designs since nothing is being manufactured.

Overall, every design should be considered Limited Edition.  There are just different levels of it.  Unfortunately, the only people who know which designs will be affected by what are whoever makes the decisions in the companies for designs.

Out of Print

Once a design is sold out, it is considered Out of Print.  This doesn’t mean you cannot find it at all…. but it means you cannot find it through the manufacturers/distributors and typically “regular” stores.  It also means that it will not be back.  This is not a rule that companies are required to stick with, though, and may come back out with an Out of Print design several years after it was discontinued.  Out of the literally thousands of designs that have gone through my place, I’ve only seen about a handful of them come back out exactly the same after it was discontinued.  In my opinion, Out of Print is anything that is not longer available from the original source after 18 months.  USUALLY, fabric designs are discontinued MUCH sooner and not available after a month or two.  However, it is not technically Out of Print if they are going to bring it out the next year, so the only way to really tell is to check back often with the company.

For most companies, they are a one time only release of that design.  So, Limited Edition designs turn into Out of Print designs rather quickly.  I treat all new designs as soon to be Out of Print because there really is a limited amount of flannel out there to fill the needs of everyone.  My store is stocked with over 2000 flannel designs to keep people finding those prints that they loved and cannot find anymore.  For my shop, ALL of the prints are limited.  I do not manufacture my own fabric (yet!) so I am limited to what I can get ahold of when it is available.

I hope that this information has helped to understand a little more about how designs work and why you can’t find a particular design anymore.  I try to keep an enormous variety for people to choose from and will continue to do so for as long as I can!  Keep checking back for new designs.  They usually come out monthly!

4 Reasons you MUST use Unicorn Flannel!

Let’s face it… unicorns are “in” this year.  There are people that would love to see unicorn everything all the time (I’m one of those people), but most of the public goes through phases.  This year happens to be a unicorn phase!  So, obviously one reason to have some unicorn flannel fabric is because it is in demand… but aside from that, there are 4 super important reasons to make sure you have that unicorn flannel fabric on hand!

Unicorns are Awesome

Unicorns are considered elegant, beautiful creatures (nowadays) and are portrayed in so many different ways.  I do not think there is anything that has not used a unicorn in some way.  Movies, toys, games, clothing…. the list goes on… have all had some type of unicorn involved!  If you think unicorns are awesome, you are NOT alone!!  There are so many reasons to love unicorns and by combining unicorns and flannel, you get the best of two great things wrapped in one item.  Of course, what you make with the unicorn flannel will be awesome, too.  Even something as simple as a pillowcase with unicorn flannel will be something that anyone of any age would love.  (I sleep with a unicorn flannel pillowcase every night!)

Spread the Word about Unicorns!

 

I doubt there are many people in the world that have never heard of unicorns, but I bet there are people out there that don’t realize how much they like them because they haven’t been exposed to unicorns that much.  We may not be able to prove that unicorns are real (yet), but we can definitely make awesome products for people to be educated on the greatness of unicorns and unicorn flannel.  As a fellow unicorn lover, I feel a duty to make sure that people have access to every unicorn flannel design that I can come across.  This year there were many more options than in the past, but I do my best to track them all down!  Some designs are available in other fabric types, but some are exclusive to flannel, and obviously some unfortunately never make it to the flannel fabric.  We take what we can get with limited designs.

Unicorns are Magical

Although the word “magic” can be used in many different ways, there is no doubt about it that unicorns are magical… no matter how you define magic.  Whether you believe old folklore and feel that unicorns have special powers, or whether they just make you smile seeing one somewhere, unicorns have a magic that is often times indescribable.  When you find that right design that speaks to you, it’s hard not to want to hug it!  Can you remember the first time you saw a unicorn that you just had to have?  Mine was probably a stuffed animal first, but I’ve seen many more that I just fell in love with!  With at least 15 different unicorn flannel designs available (and more coming in soon), it’s hard not to find one that you love!

Unicorns live in Enchanted Forests and are best friends with Fairies

Here are some facts (maybe) about unicorns on flannel. Enchanted forests are beautiful and magical… and have fairies, butterflies, rainbows… and unicorns!!  It doesn’t say it on here word for word, but I’m pretty sure unicorns are best friends with fairies.  That makes unicorns that much more awesome… right?!  With the Guide to Unicorns flannel fabric, you can have all the tips necessary to find a unicorn.  I expect that one of you out there will find the unicorns hiding somewhere, and when you do, I hope you will at least let me know about it (even if you feel the need to keep it a secret from the public to keep those wonderful unicorns safe).

Happy Crafting and if you end up buying unicorn flannel from the Snappy Baby shop, try to leave a review with a picture of your product.  I love seeing all the wonderful creations by fellow crafters out there! ♥♥♥

Fabric Repeat Types

It’s a good idea to understand what repeats are available for fabric. This is because different projects will use different repeat types. The design used in this post was one I created specifically for this and is not what I would consider a “professional” design. So it might not look like something you will buy in the store, but it serves the purposes for showing you pattern repeat types!  Most repeats in a design are not easy to identify, but the direction should be able to be seen.  Tossed designs are rather easy to tell because it seems to be all over the place.
There are typically four repeat types: straight, brick, half-drop, and tossed (also called random).
Straight Repeat

The images are in a grid pattern with a straight repeat. They line up both left and right as well as up and down.

Brick Repeat

The images are staggered horizontally with a brick repeat. You can probably remember this repeat pattern by thinking of the layers of a brick wall.
Half-drop repeat

The images are staggered vertically with a half-drop repeat. As you can see, the images are still the same as the other repeats, just staggered in a different direction.
Tossed or Random design


A tossed or random design is usually where there is no identifiable pattern and the images are randomly place. Basically, the images are not all going in one or two directions.
Repeats are different than mirror effects. We’ll cover mirror effects later, but know that mirror effects can be combined with repeat effects to get different designs.

Common Fabric Sizes

If you do several different sewing projects (or at least plan on it) then you will run into several different types of cuts of fabric.  What is the difference between a fat quarter and a fat eighth?  Well, here is a list of some of the most common fabric sizes and some of their uses.

Yard – A yard is 36 inches in length but the width can range depending on the fabric type and company selling it.  Although quilting cottons typically range from 42” to 44” wide, there are some materials that are a lot more or less in width.  Most advertised prices in stores will be “By the Yard” or “Per Yard”.  There is usually several yards of fabric on a bolt from the manufacturer.  Many projects require a purchase of a full yard of material or more.

Half Yard – A half yard is 18 inches in length and the width varies by fabric and company.   Some online companies will offer their fabric “By the Half Yard” because many people don’t need a full yard of fabric.  Although regular stores do not advertise their prices in half yard cuts it is still possible to purchase only a half yard.

Quarter Yard – A regular quarter yard cut is 9” in length (a quarter of a full yard) and the width is based on the fabric.  This measurement is often confused with the fat quarter cut.  Retail stores are willing to sell fabric from the bolt at a quarter yard increment.

Fat Quarter – A fat quarter is one fourth of a yard of fabric and will usually measure 18” x 21”.  This measurement will vary depending on the width of the fabric you are using.  If the fabric is 44” wide then the cut will be 18” x 22”.  This is a very common measurement in many projects such as baby burp cloths, blankets, patchwork, appliqué and strip piecing.  Many patterns will require a start of a fat quarter because it allows you to have a larger chunk of material to work with as opposed to a regular quarter yard.

Fat Eighth – This is simply half of a fat quarter and will typically measure about 18” x 10”.  This measurement will vary as well due to fabric width.  You may see pieces that are 18” x 11”.  A fat eighth can be cut either lengthwise or widthwise depending on the project or your preference.  These are used in quilts, bags, and appliqué as well as many other projects.

Square – The measurements for squares vary based on projects.  It is simply a square piece of fabric with all 4 sides measuring the same.  Many common square measurements are 3” x 3”, 4” x 4”, 5” x 5”, 6” x 6” and 9” x 9”.  Obviously the range for squares can be anything.  Quilting is probably the most commonly related sewing projects related to squares but there are many other projects such as patchwork and toys.

 

Some Flannel Fabric Info

I wanted to go over flannel fabric because a question came up at the store about what the difference is between flannel and other types of cotton fabrics.  Since I’m located in the United States, I’ll just cover the definition for this country.  I realize that the terminology “flannel” is used differently in other areas, but for the purposes of this post, flannel is a fabric. I specialize and sell mostly flannel fabric, so this is something that I’m fairly familiar with as well… so might as well cover it!

Flannel fabric is usually made of 100% cotton (or sometimes wool). Newer manufacturers are coming out with specialty flannels that have a mix of cotton and rayon or something else.  The US normally sticks to 100% flannel and mix (I do not carry a single flannel fabric with wool in it). There are different types of flannel, usually created with a specific project in mind.  For example quilting flannel is designed for quilting and flannel shirting is designed for making flannel shirts! (I know, super hard to tell, right?) Flannel fabric in general is often times used for sheets, clothing, sleepwear, blankets and quilts, burp cloths, pillowcases, and if you are like me, you might even use it for curtains, toys, and pretty much anything I can think of (including applique!).  There are obviously many, many other projects that can be made with flannel but those are some common uses to help you get an idea of what flannel is.

Flannel is NOT something that is usually purchased from a store to make for children’s sleepwear because it is technically flammable.  I won’t go over the flammability standards for children’s sleepwear but be aware that most flannel that is purchased in a material fashion is not suitable for making those particular items.

Flannel fabric ranges in thickness and sturdiness and some brands just have a mix of different variations.  Most flannel is printed on one side with the back being distinct and white.

So, how do you tell the difference between flannel and other cotton fabrics?  Well, the best way is to actually go to a store and feel the fabric.  Remember there is often times a starch put into fabric to make it stiff but you should be able to tell that it is a little thicker than plain cotton that is used for apparel.  The novelty cotton fabric is also thinner than flannel.  There is usually a fuzzy feeling to it after it is washed but this is not always the case before it is washed due to different levels of starch.

Do you have a flannel shirt around the house?  That’s a good starting point to see how flannel feels but there are different variations of thickness, and I’ve seen some flannel shirts that are not really made with flannel!  So, the only real way to know if you are buying flannel is to check the label. Touching and feeling it is great to see if you will like it and want to use it.  Personally, I love flannel.  If you can find a brand of flannel that you like, you can make items that you can use all year long, even in hot areas! Flannel fabric is rather breathable and great for babies and children… and anyone that likes the feel of flannel.

I will have some good uses for flannel in the future so keep your eyes out for that.  For now, though, I hope that you can all experience the greatness of flannel.  Companies are starting to make more designs for flannel with the increase in popularity.  You can always find a good use for it around the house!