Using Color Magnet for Screen Printing

February 12th, 2016

Happy Valentine’s Day to you! Hope you are enjoying a sweet treat, whether that’s candy, flowers, or new supplies for your favorite creative hobby!

In our February 10 enewsletter, we announced the addition of Color Magnet™ for Screen Printing by Jacquard to our online shop. I had heard about this product before, but the catalyst for stocking it was the most recent Printing with Thermofax Screens class, taught by PG Fiber2Art. PG Fiber2Art is Susan Price and Elizabeth Gibson. (They always teach together; unfortunately for this session Elizabeth was out of town).

Printing with Thermofax Screens class at Artistic Artifacts, taught by PG Fiber2Art

Basic Color Magnet Directions

1) Apply Color Magnet directly from jar to fabric by screen printing, stamping or stenciling.
2) Let dry thoroughly. Drying can be aided by the use of a hair dryer or heat tool.
3) Dye according to dye package instructions (immersion dyeing is recommended as the best method). The more diluted the dye, the greater the contrast.

Susan showed the class a number of fabric samples that had been created using Color Magnet for Screen Printing, and everyone wanted to be able to buy the product themselves. We were happy to oblige!

We also asked PG Fiber2Art to assist with this blog posting to help you understand the product. All images here are copyright by PG Fiber2Art (unless otherwise noted) and used with their permission.

Color Magnet is a dye attractant that “magically” attracts more dye where it is applied. Apply Color Magnet directly from jar to your fabric by Thermofax screen printing, or by stamping or stenciling.

Using Color Magnet for Screen Printing by Jacquard

The Color Magnet product is yellow in color and will be visible on your fabric as it is applied. This yellow doesn’t show permanently, nor does it change the color of the dye you choose to use. The coloring is there to make it easier to see where you have applied the Color Magnet.

Applying Color Magnet for Screen Printing to fabric through a PG Fiber2Art Thermofax screen

Above, Sue applies Color Magnet through the PG Fiber2Art screen Sewer Cover to print an all-over design — in these photos it is wet from the applications. (Visit the PG Fiber2Art blog for a thorough tutorial on How to Print with Thermofax Screens if you are unfamiliar with the process.)

It is very important to let the applied Color Magnet product dry completely before you immerse your fabric into the dye. Sue often lets her fabric sit overnight to dry; Jacquard notes that you can use a blow dryer or a craft heat tool to speed the drying process.

Color Magnet for Screen Printing applied to fabric through PG Fiber2Art Thermofax screens--before dyeing

Above, a detail photo of the same fabric after it was over-screened with Color Magnet using their popular Circles screen, available in the PG Fiber2Art Etsy shop. Below, a detail of the fabric after dyeing it teal.

After dyeing, the fabric that has had the Color Magnet for Screen Printing applied shows darker, having attracted the dye particles

The full length of fabric after. (Click the photo for a larger view.)

Full length of PG Fiber2Art fabric -- click for larger view

For the stronges/darkest tone on tone contrast, use a diluted dye solution. You may want to experiment with differing strengths of dye solution to see how you like the effects achieved.

Below are two additional fabric pieces that Sue screened with Color Magnet and then dyed. The top image is Tree Bark and the bottom is a mustard flower.

Tree bark Thermofax screen by PG Fiber2Art

Mustard Flower Thermofax screen by PG Fiber2Art

“I’m really pleased with how they turned out,” writes Sue. “I wanted the mustard flower to be an all over pattern, but it was really hard to see where I had already printed so I missed some spots. The base fabric was a pale blue/green and the Color Magnet is yellow, so it really blended in as it dried.”

Using Color Magnet does not alter the hand of your fabric. This softness makes it ideal for using on garments. Below, Sue prepped a t-shirt and screened it around the neckline with the Lazy Daisy screen, and let it dry overnight.

Color Magnet applied to a T-shirt, before dyeing

And here’s the shirt after:

Color Magnet T-shirt after dyeing

“The shirt is 45% polyester and 55% natural fibers,” writes Sue. “I wasn’t sure how well it would take the dye, but it did better than I expected.”

Although the results shown here from PG Fiber2Art are all from using their beautiful Thermofax screens, Color Magnet for Screen Printing can also be used with wooden printing blocks, stencils, applied through Fineline Needle Applicators and more.

Imagine the possibilities!

Additional Color Magnet Resources

    • For a demonstration of and instructions on using Color Magnet for Screen Printing, visit YouTube.

Lynda Heines experiments with using varying amounts of dye powder

  • Lynda Heines of Bloom, Bake & Create was a guest blogger for Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Textiles Studio, with a tutorial on how to use Color Magnet. Of particular interest are Lynda’s documentation of her experiments using varying amounts of dye powder (detail pictured here).
  • Explore step-by-step instructions and tips for using Jacquard’s Color Magnet in this Quilting Arts magazine article by Sue Bleiweiss (PDF provided by Jacquard). A sampling of Sue’s fabrics dyed using Color Magnet are below.

Sue Bleiweiss fabrics dyed using Color Magnet

Finally Completing My 2015 Row by Row Quilt

February 6th, 2016

When the H20 theme of the 2015 Row by Row Experience was announced, we at Artistic Artifacts immediately thought of fish, specifically the quirky fish from the batik panels hand drawn by Jaka, one of Indonesia’s most well known batik artists.

Our 2015 row design was created using Wonky Log Cabin blocks…see our blog postings here and here for instructions and helpful tips on sewing a wonky log cabin) to frame the center sea creatures. (Now that the event has concluded, you may also download our 2015 row pattern [PDF, 1.6M] for your personal use.*)

Gold 2015 Row by Row Experience fabric kit from Artistic ArtifactsWe created our kits with four animal squares in five different colors: blue, green, gold (pictured here), white and purple. The color designation is from the background color of the panel. We also used our Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik as well as Australian Aborigine designed fabric strips in contrasting and coordinating colors for the log cabin strips.

The fish proved so popular that we quickly ran out of our first shipment…and then the second too! We added sea turtles as an option, and they quickly flew (swam?) out the door too. Because all of our batik panels are hand-drawn, getting new stock in was no quick matter — we’re very appreciative of the many people who patiently awaited receiving their kit. We put our 2015 Row by Row Experience fabric kits — your choice of five colors for both the fish or sea turtles — up for purchase through our online shop in late 2015.

Here’s a photo of our in-store display last summer.

Artistic Artifacts' 2015 Row by Row Experience in-store display

I was pretty proud of myself because I created a quilt with our rows in it for display, ready for day 1 of the 2015 Row by Row Experience! While it hadn’t been bound yet, it was backed and had been free motion quilted. There was really only one problem: I had created this with four rows in the original colors of the kits we offered (from the top): white, green, blue and gold.

Shortly after Row by Row began, we had decided to also offer the purple kit. So now with the winter weather (and blizzard) giving me some indoor creative time, how hard could it be to add a purple row to my quilt and finish the binding?

Artistic Artifacts' 2015 Row by Row Experience quilt designed and quilted by Judy Gula

Click on the photo for a larger view.

Okay. VERY hard, as it turns out! I can think of it as a comedy of errors now, but as I was going through the processes, it wasn’t nearly as funny.

Adding an additional row to the 2015 Row by Row Experience quilt by Judy Gula

I won’t even attempt to walk you through this as a tutorial! Open the bottom edge, add additional batting, extend the backing fabric (twice, as you see, because I STILL managed to cut it too short)…hand-sewing, machine sewing…there was a lot going on! The sweat, tears and curses were worth it in the end though, as I love my finished quilt.

Detail, 2015 Row by Row Experience quilt by Judy Gula

I “outlined” each of the fish in thread with free-motion quilting. Shown above is one of the originally completed blue fish blocks, which has the wonky log cabin block strips quilted. Below is one of the newly completed purple fish blocks without. Which do you like better?

Detail, 2015 Row by Row Experience quilt by Judy Gula

The Row by Row Experience shop hop focuses on each quilting business creating a full “row” that finishes to 9″ x 36″; the idea, of course, is that a customer seams together the rows into a larger quilt. (To be eligible for a prize, quilters must use at least 8 different rows from 8 different participating shops.)

But what happens if I really like one pattern? Can I think beyond the row? Can you think beyond the row? Did any of you create a full quilt off of one row pattern, like this one?

Do you still have collected Row by Row kits left, wondering how to use them? Our friends at PG Fiber2Art, Susan Price and Elizabeth Gibson (who always create Thermofax screens as an alternative to our row design) turned their row into a table runner. We’ve seen pillows, and wall hangings. Let us know what you did with your 2015 rows!

We also have some of our 2015 fabric license plates, Creative Minds, still available. We know that there are a lot of clever projects using these plates out there too, so if you have one, please share!

2015 Row by Row Artistic Artifacts fabric license plate: Creative Minds

Stay tuned for updates about our participation in the 2016 event: the theme is Home Sweet Home and it will be here before we know it! It opens on Tuesday, June 21 amd will run through September 6 (your time to travel and collect rows. Participants have until October 31 to turn in a completed quilt for the prize. (Know though that most shops give away their prize fairly early in the summer: there are some speedy quilters out there!)

2016 Row by Row Experience logo: Home Sweet Home

      * 2015 Row by Row pattern copyright Artistic Artifacts, all rights reserved; it is not permitted to copy or transfer the pattern in any format. You may also mail a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Artistic Artifacts | 4750 Eisenhower Avenue | Alexandria, VA 22304 to receive a copy in return.

Fabric Collage Photo Book

January 30th, 2016

Fabric collage photo book by Judy Gula, standing in 3-D

Click on the above photo for a larger view.

Cover of fabric collage photo book by Judy GulaIt is pretty well-known in my family (and friends) that I love vintage photos and their stories. My fabric collage book has been created using photographs that came from my cousin Mary of her mother.

Part of the story is sad — Mary’s mother had an older sibling that unfortunately had passed away without any photographs ever being taken. So when Mary’s mother was born, her parents took lots of photographs of her.

The agreement was that I would scan all of Mary’s photos and in exchange for a DVD of the scans, I would be able to use them in my art…cool deal! (Mary also received a fabric collage book of her own as a surprise.)

My posting today is more of a show and tell than a full-on “how to” tutorial, but I hope it inspires you! You can also take a look at our 2011 tutorial, A Marvelous Memory Book by Liz Kettle, with instructions on creating another version of a fabric photo book, to get you started.

Fabric collage photo book by Judy Gula, inside pages

Detail, fabric collage photo book page by Judy Gula

Fabric collage books are a great place to use up scraps of ribbon and trim, and to try out the fancy stitches on your sewing machine (detail photo above). I love the way the bold print of the fabric “peeks” through her coat and leggings.

Fabric collage photo book by Judy Gula, inside pages

Fabric collage photo book by Judy Gula, inside pages

Detail, fabric collage photo book page by Judy Gula

Above, vintage buttons are the perfect embellishments.

Detail, fabric collage photo book page by Judy Gula

Above, I couldn’t resist adding wings to this sweet little face!

This fabric collage book is designed to be three-dimensional: it can stand (see photo at top), hung on a wall, or enjoyed as an accordian-folded book.

When creating a fabric collage book I generally use the following products:

  • EQ Printables Premium Cotton Lawn Inkjet Fabric — This is a high quality, tightly woven paper backed fabric sheet that can be run through your computer printer to reproduce photographs for quilting projects. The tighter the fabric weave, the more details that you can get on the fabric. The product is pretreated to ensure the archival quality of the photos and gives you beautiful, reliable results.
  • Heavy Duty Stabilizer — I use whatever I have on hand, whether double-sided fusible or not; Pellon 805 Wonder Under Web is the choice we have for the store. (You might find that a lightweight fusible is enough, and because our Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 has a repositionable adhesive, you can experiment with your design and how the fabric scraps are placed before fusing it permanently.)
  • Mistyfuse — this fusible is so lightweight that I can even fuse lace in place quickly and with no adhesive showing.
  • Non-stick Ironing and Craft Sheet — invaluable to use when working with any fusible. We carry Goddess Sheets in various sizes, and The Bo-Nash Amazing Sheet…I have multiples (brands and quantities) of these types of craft sheets and simply wouldn’t be without them!
  • Vintage Fabric and Linens — if you don’t have these in your stash and you want to create a similar look, we offer “scrap packs”of Vintage Linens and Creams/Pales Silks: these are the perfect size for a fiber collage project.

Cover, fabric collage photo book by Judy GulaThe following photos are of the book I gifted to Mary.

Both of these fabric collage books featured in this posting have the photos on one side of the page. Each reverse/back side is covered in fabric, trims and stitching to create a finished book no matter how the book is displayed or viewed.

Another fabric collage photo book is in my future: I was just gifted with several vintage photo albums that include photos from the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900’s. I can’t wait to begin working with these treasures!

Fabric collage photo book by Judy Gula, photo side

Click on either photo to view larger: gift book opened and gift book back.

Fabric collage photo book by Judy Gula, reverse side

Transforming Chipboard Shapes

January 22nd, 2016

Chipboard does for shapes what particle board did for furniture. The options are limitless. Chipboard is a lamination of layers of paper pulp — it comes in many thicknesses, shapes and sizes. Our most recent session of our How Do I…? monthly demonstrations was on the versatility of chipboard; we used both commercial shapes as well as cutting into large sheets of thin utility chipboard in our experiments.

Chipboard embellishments available at Artistic Artifacts

We carry some great chipboard shapes and embellishments, but otherwise, the most common place to find chipboard is in the scrapbooking aisle of your local craft store. A simple material, but what you can do with chipboard is anything but ordinary!

Covering a chipboard frame with fabric

This blog posting will touch on just a couple of techniques — know that this is only the tip of the iceberg! We used fabric, washi tape, embossing powders and VIVA products: Inka Gold, Ferro Special Effects Paste, Croco Crackle Paint, Precious Metal Colour to alter our chipboard.

The only tricky option is applying fabric to the chipboard. I ironed fusible web to the back of the fabric and then made my cuts into the fabric (similar to wrapping a package) to cover the frame and fused with an iron in place. Another option is to apply a thick glue like Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue to the chipboard and then wrap the fabric smoothly on the top and around the edges.

Products used to color and alter chipboard

Washi tape is one of the simplest ways to add interest to any paper (or other) project. Mixing different strips to a chipboard frame that still has its center in place is a fun twist: then simply run your craft blade around to cut the tape and pop the center out. Replace it in a different orientation, or use the center shape separately.

Chipboard frames covered in washi tape

Embossing Powder is really magic! Using a stamp paid with “embossing” glue (we used the EMBOSS Embossing Stamp Pad) I stamped the glue onto my precut chipboard frame. Working on a sheet of deli paper, I sprinkled Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Powder in the gorgeous Peeled Paint shade of green.

Mixed media tag by Judy Gula with a chipboard frame transformed with Tim Holtz Distressed embossing powder

Working on deli paper, it’s easy to pour the unused granules of powder back into the jar. I moved my heat tool over the embossing powder until it melted and fused, creating a unique surface. Tim’s Distress powder is formulated to giveyou a worn , weathered finish, as you can see with my tag above.

Metallic embossing powders will ‘wow’you when the heat is applied. They sprinkle on looking rather flat and dull, but after a few seconds turn to looking like molten metal! You can see an example with my journal page below with the gold frame. I love creating a “peek a boo” element by framing a cutout on one page to look through to the next (see below and inset detail).

Judy Gula journal page with a peek a boo cutout framed with embossed chipboard

The journal pages you see here are from “How Do I Use This?” Meets the Art Journal Page, a fun class I’m teaching on April 23-24 where students create original and layered journal pages and bind them into a custom art journal…all supplies provided!

Ferro Special Effects Paste, Croco Crackle Paint, Precious Metal Colour and other paints and mediums can all be applied with a brush or spatula to the chipboard.

Art journal page by Judy Gula
Chipboard tags and frames, painted, embossed and more

Our hands down favorite surface finish for chipboard was to use a die-cutter or paper punches to create shapes, then texturizing the shapes by running them through the diecutting/embossing machine with different embossing folders. The created texture comes alive with paints and Inka gold.

Plain chipboard, die cut into shapes and embossed with texture

Just a tiny amount of Inka Gold is all that’s needed, applied with a fingertip, baby wipe or paper towel.

Embossed chipboard with Inka Gold highlights

The Box Challenge

One of the original display box frames used in the Box Challenge

Most of you know the story about the building that now houses Artistic Artifacts. In its former life housing high-performance auto parts, we had a huge display wall with dimensional wood box frames that showed off product. During a recent warehouse cleaning, I uncovered a box full of these frames, most approximately 5×5 inch square (as pictured) I offered these up to Barb Boatman of Cut Sew Create studio, a dear friend and JAMs member, to come up with a project.

Barb challenged members of JAMs to use these surfaces to create small artworks that incorporated products from Artistic Artifacts that they had in their stashes that could then be used in the shop and at events as samples.

The big reveal of the boxes was this past Sunday at JAMs. We shared some photos on our Facebook page…you will certainly be seeing more of these in this space, as they were all so beautiful and are great examples of mixed media and fiber art techniques! Here are two that use chipboard.

Artwork by Sharon McDonagh: embossed chipboard highlighted with Inka Gold colors

Coming off the How Do I… evening, Sharon McDonagh embossed a chipboard square and then used Inka Gold in blue, copper and violet colors to bring out the texture of the pattern, and green paint topped with a bit of Inka Gold on a chipboard frame with a vintage photo.

Below, Lindy Millman used the Leaf Stems chipboard frame, lightly sprayed with a gold metallic ink, on a base of Tim Holtz fabric (the Entomology design) and accented it with her own ephemera and a skeleton leaf.

Artwork by Lindy Millman: Tim Holtz fabric, chipboard shape, skeleton leaf, ephemera

The Printed Fabric Bee Begins Anew in 2016

January 15th, 2016

This week I want to direct readers to the “reboot” of The Printed Fabric Bee. Instead of monthly fabric collections created for the Bee members (with 6″ x 6″ swatches as a prize for randomly drawn readers who left comments), for 2016 members of the Bee will each take a turn hosting a month. For their month they will pick a theme and post several surface design tutorials, and conduct a fabulous giveaway too. (Mark your calendar: I will be April!) This reboot will mean a year of free classes from national and internationally known surface design artists and teachers!

Fabric Printing at Home: Quick and Easy Fabric Design Using Fresh Produce and Found Objects by Julie B. Booth

Julie B. Booth is January’s featured Bee artist, and she has chosen Kitchen Resists as her theme. Last year Julie wrote Fabric Printing at Home: Quick and Easy Fabric Design Using Fresh Produce and Found Objects, and it is an amazing book! You can read my review of it on this blog.

Julie has published two postings to The Printed Fabric Bee so far:

Judy Gula fabric created in Julie Booth’s class using dishwashing liquid as a resist

Above is a piece I created in Julie’s 2-day class here at Artistic Artifacts (more on that below) using dishwashing liquid as a resist. In Kitchen Resists #1: Rubbings with Liquid Dishwashing Soap, Julie teaches you to place texture plates under your fabric and then roll liquid dishwashing soap over the fabric to pick up the texture designs. I grabbed one of her photos (below) to illustrate:

Image from Kitchen Resists #1: Rubbings with Liquid Dishwashing Soap by Julie B. Booth

Julie prefers to make my own texture plates by applying hot glue on recycled cardboard, which is the subject of an article by her in the current issue of Quilting Arts magazine (see below).

Julie B. Booth is featured in the February/March 2016 issue of Quilting Arts

Below is my hot glue/cardboard printing plate design, again created in her class last year:

Printed fabric created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Julie points out that you can also use commercial texture plates…I’m going to have to try this technique with some of the rubbing plate designs from Cedar Canyon Textiles!

To anyone who has an interest in surface design: register yourself for Fabric Printing at Home: A Kitchen Sampler on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13 here at Artistic Artifacts. Want to know more? I shared in some of the fun of learning from Julie my posting for the Fabric Printing at Home Blog Tour last year (I was Day 6).

You will learn how to use a huge variety of materials to create amazing prints, plus on Day 2 Julie will guide you through hand-stitching your fabrics into a wonderful piece of art. I can’t recommend it enough: this class is inspiring, energizing and so much fun!

Carved vegetable print created in class with Julie B. Booth

As before, you must comment each month to win. Julie’s wonderful giveaway is a copy of her amazing book and one yard of Prepared for Dyeing (PFD) cotton* — meaning the winner has a great start on creating their own custom printed fabric!

To be eligible to win, comment on at least one of her posts published during January at The Printed Fabric Bee. Julie will select a winner on Sunday, January 31.

* Note: we stock Kona® 100% cotton PFD, 44" in our shop too, as well as 58" wide.