Printing-Along Progress and the benefits in printing a Strike Off

I am creatively bamboozled by the Printed Village challenge at the same time as Carol Soderlund and I are hosting a Playful Fabric Print-Along. The two goals have collided. Really, I couldn’t be happier! Working in this manner is exactly how I was taught to design when I attended F.I.T.

Stylists would gather a presentation of ideas and we were asked to interpret them. Then we worked together to make the artwork stronger, with the best use of color for each motif. 

The graffiti element I spoke about in my last post? I decided to use the StencilGirl Scroll Y100rev as a graffiti like element in my NYC MTA Subway carved rubber layer. You see above, I traced out a few of the scrolls from the stencil to fill the ‘negative space’ with a graffiti like spray of scrolls. At least this is my hope.

(Check out this post about using negative space and stencils in a journal).

Drinking coffee while carving is the height of relaxation for me. So I got to work. 

This is a first printing or strike off (Playful Fabric Printing, page 29). Strike off‘s are very important to the design of multicolor sets (especially when designing in repeat). It can get confusing to think through the best use of color, without the use of this step. Strike off’s reveal and highlight the carved (all techniques really)design in the printed format. This information is an education to applying dye color and using the Playful Fabric Printing techniques.

This particular strike off revealed a several things.

1. I found a mistake in the repeat. Because I hadn’t carved another area of the design, and was able to fix the mistake.

2. I had left the uncarved area for inspection in this strike off, just to be able to ponder whether a textural element might be called for. Because of this printing, I decided against. 

3. Revealed detail possibilities, like the roof of the subway train, and the lone tree in the bend of the tracks. 

4. I had been thinking my lines were to heavy while I was carving, but this printing is pleasing and thus acceptable to me.

So I applied my fix and completed the carving.

This will be a fun print to color. I am working on this now. 🙂

Lace Swirl quilt complete!

Here is my first entirely hand printed quilt top using my Melly Marks Lace Swirl Kit! I am loving it, I love the movement of the zig-zag half square triangles, the gradation of colors, the simplicity too. 

Later in the process of making the quilt top, I nabbed a few handprints created using Swirl Vine Kit to fill out the pattern and make a few more blocks. You can see these above. I just needed specific colors and a few more pieces of fabric, and these were quickly available.

One thing that I have totally fallen in love with because of this quilt is printing on Cotton Sateen. The peach pink at left is an example of this, though it is quite difficult to photograph the subtle visual difference and in blog post, it is impossible to illustrate how soft this fabric is. I printed just a few pieces of the cotton sateen, I don’t have much on hand, but wanted to use it anyway and think it a success. Having even a few pieces of this cloth in the mix livens up the top tremendously, lending a subtle sheen and a soft touch. 

I tried to stay within an analogous area of the color triangle, from purple, reds and yellows. I printed a total of 34 Lace Swirl Prints and 54 Chevrons. This means I printed about 5 yards of cloth! From start to finish, this quilt was printed, steamed, washed, cut, pieced, basted, machine quilted and bound in one months time! Wow. Pretty snazzy.

The Peacock Quilt by Melly T

Big contented sigh.

It took energy and focus to prepare for Craft NAPA and I am glad to say, The Peacock Quilt is helping me transition back into studio life. And as it comes to completion, I am beginning to think of my next project. I am not as excited about finishing the Peacock Quilt as I am to start printing the fabric for NEW quilt!! 

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My next quilt is going to be a baby or ‘craft’ sized quilt, because I won some wool quilt batting from the BERNINA sewing machine piñata at Pokey’s Art Barn party. And I feel assured that it will be an extra special quilt because of its emergence from the piñata. I mean, just look at that thing. It is and was magic. And, I have never used wool batting before.

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Even though I am excited about moving on to a new project, I do have some more straight lines to quilt. I am using Aurifil Mako 12 weight cotton to machine quilt. I love dense ‘straight line’ machine quilting (None of my lines are anywhere near straight!). This thread shows off the sheen of its cotton fibers wonderfully at a lengthened stitch of just under ‘4’ on my BERNINA 1001. This stitch length is pretty long, but it’s a perfect length to show the thread off!

I will just keep swimming, and get this quilt finished! I look forward to snapping a photo and doing a finished reveal!! Soon.

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In the meantime, it seems like it might be a good time to flip through my design journal and see what designs are calling to be printed, expanded upon and colored. I love what I am learning about printing cloth.

Evaluating how big a quilt I would like to make, comparing that to the motifs I would like to use, then beginning to print those designs, is a magical process. I have come to understand how important tonal, textural and single color prints are. These simple, often single colored prints are work horses in the design of the quilt top, they provide a resting place for the eye and they contrast well with the more densely designed and multicolor prints. 

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Patchwork+Quilt Maker+Craft NAPA 2016 Blog Hop

It is so much fun to piece and use my hand printed cloth.

The nature of the printing process dictates that I print small pieces, fat sixteenths-I think, which is somewhere around 9×11″. I rip two yards at a time, and print all as quickly as possible. So when it comes time to begin piecing, I have many similarly colored squares, scraps really, all of which relate to one another color-wize.

But, they are small!

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My attention span for cutting and piecing blocks is short. This ‘attribute’, if I could call it that, plays into my ‘quilt building skills’. These skills are reprehensible by anyone else’s standard!!

My bottom lines:

  1. It must lay flat
  2. Use as much of the handprinted cloth as possible, even if this dictates wonky cutting or piecing… ‘techniques’! (Yeah, that’s it!)
  3. My quilt, my rules. My friend Teri reminds me of this often and I like it. 

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So I make blocks in batches, I might cut as many 3″ squares for Half Square Triangles as possible, given the tiny size of my scraps. I sew, iron, and join these together and then, maybe I will cut some 4″ squares for Half Square Triangles, in slightly different colors.

My process is willy nilly. And fun. My blocks never match up, or sometimes they do and I don’t care either way. I just build them out and keep on sewing! Because it is so much fun to do! I have been so deeply immersed in piecing, I am thinking deep thoughts. I like the term Quilt Maker. I am a Quilt Maker. I like this better than Quilter. What do you think? Do you think about this at all?


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Here is a shout out to the wonderful CRAFT NAPA sponsors, BERNINA and Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers

BERNINA Made to Create Right

 

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I am participating in a blog hop that starts today! Comment on every post and your name will go into a hopper with great incentives. I will post my contribution on the 5th and will be giving away a copy of Dreaming from the Journal Page! Below is a list of participants, and it all starts with Jane LaFazio.

The grand prize is a $500 Gift Certificate from eQuilter.com! WOOT! And do not hesitate to sign up for a class!!!


Nov 30- Jane LaFazio – http://janeville.blogspot.com/

Dec 1 – Lynn Krawczyk – http://smudgeddesignstudio.com/blog/

Dec 2 – Judy Coates Perez – http://www.judycoatesperez.com/

Dec 3 – Jenny K. Lyon – http://quiltskipper.com/blog/

Dec 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

Dec 5 – Melanie Testa – http://melanietesta.com/blog/ (Here you are!)

Dec 6 – Elizabeth St. Hilaire – http://www.paperpaintings.com/

Dec 7– Leslie Jenison – http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/

Dec 8- Carrie Bloomston – http://www.carriebloomston.com/blog/

Dec 9 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Commenting closes on:

Dec 10 – Pokey Bolton – http://pokeysponderings.com/

And do comment, because the prizes are snazzy!

Somewhat Obsessed

I love the concept of the jelly roll quilt, simply accepting what happens when you sew strips together, fast, simple, almost mindless piecing and quilting in order to wrap yourself in ‘warms’ while watching tv, during the cold winter months. You can purchase strips in prearranged bundles or cut your own, in color groupings to your liking. It is like opening a bag of potato chips and devouring them, except, you get a colorful quilt out of this! It kinda feels like cheating, but I like to think if it as a reprieve from the other creative stuff I do. It is ‘weekend quilting’ and I love doing it. It really does relax me!

I sewed this one up a few weeks ago, during my retreat weekend. Each gal pal gave two strips of cloth to each person participating, we could use the cloth at our discretion, so long as each person and their fabric was represented. This quilt top, both front and back, contains fabric from each of my gal pals. Later in the week, I will update the blog with a picture of the other side. David and I have been using both of our jelly roll quilts to make ‘nests’ while we curl up and watch tv each night. What could be better? 

So In the spirit of easy, fun piecing and in an effort to start using my own hand printed cloth, I gathered some of my cloth and cut 60 degree triangles, pleasingly arranged. I sewed them together without thinking too much about color, placement or composition. I just wanted to piece and see how my fabric looks alongside each other in a mindless manner.

This quilt top taught me to enjoy simply pieced blocks. The 60 degree triangle block is easy to cut, simple to piece and it looks pleasingly more difficult than it really is. It is a win-win sort of block.

As you will see below, I went on a cutting tangent. This quilt top (I am on a mission to make two sided quilts, I want to stash bust!) is predominantly commercially printed cloth, there are a few low water immersion semi-solids and a few of my latest multicolor prints, but they are in the minority. Anyway, this quilt top has really been an eye opening experience for me. The cutting tangent helped me to understand how to group colors while cutting so that sewing four patches together is pleasingly mindless and effective! See. I am on a mission to mindlessly make!

I am in love with this quilt top, it is teaching me something. I haven’t heard the full story yet. The opposing side of this quilt top will be very similar but will feature my own printed cloth, predominantly. 

Anyway, I am piecing, machine quilting and sewing bindings like it was 1994! Hey wait, did they do that, like this, back then? Now, I am just making things up!

 

My Mom gave me this sparkly, glow ‘riddled’, stained glass art piece featuring the Wonky Star. This is happy making. It links my Mom, Wonky Star quilt blocks and me! I love owning a piece of my Mother’s work, she has been working to improve her skills and sell her work, I love her dedication and her wares. Thanks Mom.

Print and Stitch

I am happily sewing away over here, working three Breastplates at a time.

This Breastplate is the biggest of the seven. If I were to decide to wear them, rather than consider them an art object, this would be the one. Each of the Breastplates were made by ‘eye’ they are supposed to be clothing ‘like’. I love the shapes so much, I keep dreaming up new versions, with different cloth. But when I designed this one, I specifically cut it so that it would wrap around the sides of my body and ‘fit’.

I printed it using a stamp bought from Colouricious. This is my first time using these stamps and I must say, OMG. These are wonderful stamps. I now want more.

I am using my hand dyed threads to stitch and embellish the stamped shapes. I am using thread colors that blend nicely but show up well too. Nothing that might conk you over the head, but beautiful, embellished stitch. I printed this Breastplate in an asymmetrical manner, and the printing goes up the left breast.

I am loving each, beautiful, stitch.