Posts Tagged ‘Printing’

Hello everyone…a couple weeks back, Spoonflower had a free swatch day.  Ever since I heard about the awesome site, I have been working on designing my own fabric.  I was getting to the point where I was finished with the design, but I needed an excuse to order it.  What better time than when you can get a sample of it for free?  I ordered the fabric, and it came a few days ago.  I am so pleased with how it turned out!  I have another full yard of it on its way already.  If you are thinking about ordering some of your fabric, I highly suggest the bamboo/cotton blend.  It is so light and soft.

One of the things that I struggled with when designing this fabric was my personal style as a designer.  Whenever I design something, I want it to be perfect.  I think this is inherently a good thing, but I can get a little carried away when trying to get something just right.  I guess one of my worries is that when I design something, I will somehow be defined by it, if that makes sense.  Take this fabric, as an example.  The design is cool, but not totally my “style”.  The fabric does not fit into the category of fabrics I would choose for myself.  However, I do like it still, and my hope is that even if it doesn’t totally fit me, it will fit other people to a tee.

Stay tuned for some projects with this fabric!


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A second attempt at stamps for my sister’s save-the-dates…(hmm.  I’m sensing a theme…).  Anyways, the first save-the-date stamp was not as sucessful as I had hoped.  I had trouble with both the stamp itself and the ink.  Well, after searching for about a week I finally found some ink that I could use.  It is a full pad, instead of the tiny one I had before, with actual ink, instead of some chalk stuff, and it is the right color.  Yay!!

I also found my craft knife (also after about a week of searching), so I attempted to cut the stamp a second time.  I definately think this stamp turned out better than the first.  I was very careful to avoid having pin holes around the image by cutting a little wider than before.  There are definately less rough edges, though there are still a few.

On the one hand I sort of like the rough edges because it doesn’t look too perfect.  On the other hand, I am not sure I want to keep them because it doesn’t look perfect enough.  I  think there is a fine line here, and I’m not sure which side of it I am on.  What do you think?  Do the rough edges add character, or does it just look messy??

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My sister got engaged and is planning a wedding for September!  I have been delegated as invitation designer, so I have been working on this alot over the past few weeks.  I think I have said before…my sister’s favorite color is purple, so naturally, that is going to be a principle color for her wedding.

I have really been getting into this block printing thing, and thought it might be a cool idea to make a stamp and hand print the design on the paper instead of having it printed by machine.

The design is ready, and last night I made a first attempt at printing on paper.  Sadly, it did not turn out as I had hoped.  It might be partially due to the fact that I have lost my craft knife (sadness!), or that the ink pad I got is about as big as my thumb…probably a bit of both.  The ink is very uneven, and I doubt that I will be able to finish 85 of these babies with only my tiny pad of ink.  Also, I had to use scissors, which made some funky little detailing along the heads of the birds.  I think I am going to have to start from scratch.  Maybe get a new ink pad and another craft knife.  Or maybe I’ll carve the image out of a rubber block instead…I don’t know.

Do any of you have any tips for me??

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While I was going through my fabrics this weekend, looking for a project I could do, I realized that I still have a ton of scraps left even after the other various scrap projects I have done (here, here, and here).  I had enough scraps still to make an updated tote.  I block printed the front of the bag (for instructions, check out the Baby blanket post), and used my handmade binding (for instructions, go here).  This is a great all-purpose tote, good for taking home some groceries, or carrying books back to the library.

What you will need

  • 1/2 yard natural colored canvas
  • 1/2 yard ecru colored linen
  • 1/2 yard lining material of your choice (for this I used four different fabrics, and cut a panel out of each one)
  • 2 yards 1″ thick strap material
  • 39″ binding
  • Matching thread

Wash, dry and iron the fabric.  Cut the following panels out of canvas and lining: two 15″x12.5″, two 15″x 4.5″, one 12″x4.5″.  Cut the following panels out of linen: two 13″x12.5″, two 13″x4.5″, one 12.5″x4.5″.  Fray one 12.5″ edge of the two 13″x12.5″ linen panels to 1/4″.  Do the same along one 4.5″ edge of the two 13″x4.5″ linen panels.

Align the fabric by placing each piece of canvas right side up, then placing the linen, right side up, with the frayed edges at the top.  The 15″x12.5″ pieces of canvas with have the 13″x12.5″ pieces of linen on them, with the bottom 12.5″ sides aligned.  The 15″x4.5″ canvas panels will have the 13″x4.5″ linen panels on top of them, with the 4.5″ bottoms aligned.  The canvas and linen 12.5″x4.5″ pieces will be aligned as normal.

Sew the canvas and linen panels together along the inside edge of the fray.

Pin the panels together, inside out to form a bag shape.

Sew along these edges at 1/4″.  Turn right side out.

Pin the corresponding liner panels to each other, inside out to form a bag shape.  Sew along these edges at 1/4″.

Place the liner inside the bag, and align along all the sides.  Sew binding tape around the top of the bag. 

Cut the two yards of strap in half.  Sew the edges with a zigzag stitch to prevent it from unraveling.  Pin each end of each strap to the inside of the bag, 1.5″ away from the edge seams.  Allow 3″ of each end of each strap to hang inside the bag.  Sew the straps on, along the same lines where the binding is sewn, and where the frayed fabric is sewn.

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The baby shower was yesterday, and the baby blanket was a success!!  After printing the trials for the blanket, I had some trouble with disappearing ink, but I quickly found some better ink at a specialty art store which turned out perfectly.

What you will need:

  • 1 yard ecru linen for front
  • 1 yard cream soft cotton fabric of your choice
  • 1 yard white cotton flannel for the batting
  • 4 1/2 yards bias tape in cream, 1″ wide
  • embroidery floss in cream
  • cream thread
  • textile ink (I used white with a couple drops of brown added)
  • 1/8″ thick craft foam with a sticky back
  • 3 pieces of plastic or acrylic for mounting the stamp
  • printout of pattern for the stamps (stamp-pattern)
  • craft knife and or scissors
  • cardboard for cutting out the stamp on
  • needle
  • small paint roller
  • ruler

Wash, dry and iron the fabrics.  Using a ruler, measure the fabrics to 42″x32″. 

Place each stamp printout on the craft foam.  Using the needle, poke small holes around the patterns.  Cut the patterns out using the craft knife and scissors.  Place the pattern under the mounting plastic and align it how you want it to fit.  Using this as a guide, place the foam stamp onto the plastic, sticky side down.

Using some scraps, print some trials of the stamps to determine how much paint and pressure to use.  Apply stamps to the linen.  I positioned the giraffe and elephant facing each other about 6″-7″ up from the bottom, and 6″-7″ from the side.  The vine is a repeating pattern.  I started it at the very bottom of the fabric, and repeated all the way up, about 6″-7″ from the side.  Allow the ink to dry for 24 hours.  After it has dried, iron the print to set it.  For more detailed instructions on how to print, check out Printing By Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens, by Lena Corwin.  I found this book to be extremely helpful!

Align the fabric, starting with the soft cotton, wrong side facing up.  Then place the flannel on top of that, right side facing up, then the printed linen, right side facing up.  Pin the three layers together, starting in the center and working your way out.

With a sewing machine, using a running stitch, attach the bias tape.  Fold the corners in as you go, making a diagonal fold (see image below).

Lay the blanket out on the floor and lightly mark the exact middle using a ruler and pencil.  Mark the point halfway between the center of the blanket and the top and the bottom.  Measure the distance between the center mark and one of the other marks.  Using this measurement, mark the distance between the center and the two sides.  Mark the distance half way between these new marks and the top and bottom of the blanket.

At the diagonal of each of these, draw another mark.  The result will look like this:

At each of these marks, tie embroidery floss, making sure it goes through all three layers.  To tie, first tie in a single knot, then tie again, looping the the floss through twice.  Cut ends to 1/4″.

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I recently got a book called Printing By Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens, by Lena Corwin.  I have always been interested in printing and textile design, but I assumed that it would be too difficult and time consuming, and that it would require too many specialized tools.  This book has really changed my thinking.  Hand printing is something almost anyone can do, and produce professional-looking results. 

The other night, I decided to try my hand at making my own stamp for imprinting on fabric.  I am making a baby quilt for a coworker, and have not yet found the perfect fabric…what better time to try making my own pattern on a plain fabric!?  I designed a jungle motif on my computer, and cut the design out of foam that is sticky on one side.  I found that it was easy to transfer the design to the foam by poking small holes around all the outlines with a pin.  I then stuck the design to a piece of plastic from an old box, brushed the stamp with permanent acrylic paint made for fabric, and pressed the stamp onto the fabric.  I think this would be an easy process using hand-drawn designs as well as computer graphics. 

I am so pleased with the outcome!  Right now I am still doing some trials to determine how much paint needs to be on the stamp, but I am really starting to get it down.  I can’t wait to do the final printing and see how the whole blanket will turn out!  Assuming all goes well, I will post my designs for the printing, as well as the blanket pattern.

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