This week we are taking a break from our quilt camp posts and want to share - for those who don't subscribe - that our latest newsletter was recently published and includes a discount code for 15% off on screens in the Etsy shop through October 3 with code SEPT2020. If you aren't a subscriber you can access the newsletter here. Better still, just to the right on this page, you can subscribe to our email list and then will receive our newsletters in your inbox. We promise not to inundate you with mail, our average is 3-4 newsletters a year. You can also follow the blog by email and get notices of new posts. The newsletter debuts 3 new screens that were added to the Etsy shop, shown below.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Another technique we have used Thermofax screen printing for is to create raw edge fusible appliques. Back in May, Sue shared a project where she used the "lazy daisy" screen in 3 sizes to make appliques. They were printed with black acrylic paint on yellow fabric.
After printing and heat setting, they need to be backed with a fusible product before cutting out. Sue used MistyFuse, but you could also use Wonder Under or Steam-a-Seam2 Lite, or another favorite fusible, as long as it is fairly thin. You don't want to add stiffness or something that might gum up on your needle when stitching. After fusing, cut them out, then you are ready to create your arrangement on the background. Play with the arrangement until you are satisfied. Consideration was also given to where the stems and leaves would go and what needed to go underneath what. Above right is the arrangement with stems and leaves added. The stems & leaves were fused and stitched before the flowers were fused in place. To maintain your arrangement, take a picture for reference and you can also lay them out on another surface the same way you want them on the quilt.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Have you ever tried a technique called Deconstructed Screen Printing? It can also be called Breakdown Printing. It has been a long time since we have done any but this week, we went back to try it again.
It takes a standard screen in a wooden frame. These can be bought at the big box craft stores or online at art supply sources. After taping the wood part of the frame, so it doesn't get wet and swell, you are ready to start your process.
We mixed dye with a product called print paste which is purchased from a dye house or art supply store. Print paste is mixed with water to create a thick medium which is used to hold your dye in a viscose suspension instead of a watery one. This can also be called thickened dye. First you mix the print paste and then save out about a cup to add dye to. You will use the remaining paste to squeegee across the screen later.
Into the saved cup of print paste went some dye powder and it was stirred well. On the flat side of the screen, this dye mixture was spread evenly over the screen and laid paste side up over a rack sitting in a clean cat litter box. Once the dye mixture is starting to set, you can add items of interest which will leave silhouette outlines when you pull your final prints. We have used thick foam stamps in the past and this week tried with some shredded paper from the mechanical shredder. No one is ever going to read those documents again! When we used the foam stamps they went into the dye infused print paste when it was starting to set up and left until it was nearly or quite dry. With the shredded paper the screen with the dye infused paste was completely dry because truthfully it has been sitting in the litter box for a LONG time! Once your screen is ready, you can start the printing fun. First though, soak your fabric in soda ash just as you would for tie dyeing or liquid dye techniques. The fabric we used was old pieces of hand dye that wasn't very inspiring and needed something more.
After a few days of sitting so the dye could bond to the fabric, the piece was washed out and hung to dry. It needs a good wash as the soda ash as well as the print paste will make it feel stiff.
This piece looks a lot better now than when it was just rainbow dye colors and now can be envisioned cut up in some other project. What would you make with it?
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
This week we are combining printing with thickened dye along with printing on things other than cotton fabric. What is thickened dye? It is dye added to a clear print paste made with sodium alginate and water. Exactly as the name implies, it thickens the dye to a consistency that works for printing. Why would you want to print with dye instead of paint? Dye bonds with the fibers and gives fabric a softer hand than paint. It can also be discharged as we saw a few weeks ago. Paint sits on the fabric surface, so adds a little bit of stiffness, depending on the brand of paint.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
The techniques we've shown so far for using Thermofax screens have mostly been one color techniques. You may be wondering - how do they print t-shirts and other products with multiple colors? While the commercial process is a bit different from Thermofax screens, there are ways to use multiple colors with screens, and that is our topic for this 6th week of quilt camp. We'll look at ways of blending colors and designs that use more than one screen. So let's get started.
One way to use multiple colors in a design is to create images with multiple parts - for example, an image that has both "fill" and outline, or one that has both a positive and negative component as the following pictures will show.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
We all (or most of us!) love color, don't we? But sometimes we want to take color away - to create interest or contrast or the illusion of shadows. Or just because it's a fun technique. The process of doing this is called DISCHARGE, and it can be done with various products. We have selected 3 products to illustrate using this process with Thermofax screens.
One final picture, you may be wondering how to apply this technique to your art quilts, so here's an example.