Bird Buta fabrics printed in hope of making baby quilt.

As you know, I have been piecing, quilting and sewing up a storm. So this weekend, I took out my dyes, mixed a few colors and picked up the Bird Buta multicolor set I had been working on just prior to my sewing jag. I found all of the previously printed pieces, backtracked through my notes and found a pathway to overprinting and coloring the birds.

In this one, you can see the wings were printed using a teal green and the entire bird was overprinted in a yellow green. I played with value by making sure to pair Light with Medium value in those two layers of the multicolor set.

It is my hope that the resulting wing color would create drama and depth within the motif itself.

And, I don’t often do this, but. I am going to leave the background of the Bird Buta white. Quilters seem to favor white. I don’t usually work with it. I like color. I like pattern. But I am going to be restrained and explore this idea.

I went ahead and printed a gradation of the greens used in the Bird Buta print. Single color all over designs like this are really helpful in quilt making. At the moment, I envision a zig zag quilt that shows off the gradation nicely… 

But first, I will steam and boil these.

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Bird Buta Motif Making

This week, I finished steaming and washing the Buta prints. Then, I went and bought a magnifying glass, which makes me want to design and carve! This is a perfect opportunity for me. It means I can cut and piece a new quilt top, but also design and start thinking about my next my next print job.


I am not quite out of the woods, in wanting to work with the Buta motif. A Buta is a small medallion shaped motif, which is often, but not limited to, a floral type design. It usually repeats in a tight, strict repeat. Rather than continuing to work with floral Buta motif, I decided to try placing a bird surrounded by a ‘medallion’ shaped branch.

The above image shows the carving at the half-way point. The background needs to be removed. I always stop at just the point, make a strike off and print a few on cloth, before proceeding to the finish mark. This has been so much fun to carve. I look forward to completing this!

 

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One more thing. So often, folks will ask, how long did it take you to carve this? I started this design on Saturday night. It will probably take 8 hours, in total, to complete, and I am being generous. It can be used for years, though! So the time it took to carve really means nothing, especially when compared with what I might make of it. 🙂

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Printing with Intent

I plan to print 40 fat sixteenths in this carved rubber, buta motif, series ( for 2.5 yards). So far, I have printed 25 of the little fatties. So, I need 15 more. When I am finished printing these, I will use up the remaining dye with a single color all over print for another 2.5 yards, for a total of 5 yards of cloth.

I am happy with the results I see, so far! I have carved 7 different blocks, and color separated each of them. In printing these samples, I have been quite pleased with the crispness of each color applied. I have one more 4″ red rubber block to carve for the series to be complete! I think I will change the scale of the motif with this last carve.

I have also gotten to the point where I can close my eyes and envision whether or not the next color application will play nicely. Bonus!

For a long while, I applied color in a willy-nilly fashion. This helped me build color preferences and understand the use of value within the layers of the multicolor print set. But because I wasn’t conscious of what was occurring, I printed many duds. Usable, and even pretty duds, but you know.

When you want pretty, and you get…interesting…. well.

So this was a steam and boil sort of day! My color retention was good and everything is hanging to drip dry now.

This photograph was taken just before the steam and boil. I will update this post with a follow up, so you can see the difference.

Are you interested in printing fabric to be used in your own quilts? If so, please let me know if you have any sticking points that impede your abilities. I would like to trouble shoot this with you! Please leave a comment. And join our Facebook Playful Fabric Printing Community.