Green Tree Quilt From Stash Fabrics

July 23rd, 2014

When students attend my surface design classes, I always encourage them to just play and create fabric, and build a stash. I am happy to say that I practice what I preach on this one!

Judy Gula stash drawers

My studio is a small bedroom in my home, and the best part of the room is that there are two closets that I have filled with drawers from the elfa® Shelving Systems. These drawers are stuffed with my huge stash of fabrics, including most of my painted fabric: Roc-lon® Roc-rol™ Multi Purpose Cloth™, gelli plate prints, wood block printed fabric There’s even a drawer dedicated to my handmade silk paper. Going through your stash periodically can inspire you to begin a new project.

I found the below square of fabric featuring a green and yellow tree in my stash, and it so coordinated with the green fabrics I used to create one of our Row by Row Experience samples in the shop that I was inspired to make use of the leftover strip piecing I had already completed. I have really been having fun Rayna Gillman’s wonky strip piecing technique, as described in her book, Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts: a Stress-Free Journey to Original Design). (See my previous blog post for my take on Rayna’s technique.)

Stenciled tree by Judy Gula

I created this tree by placing a stencil on a Gelli Arts™ Gel Printing Plate and rolling a mix of paint over the stencil with a brayer. Lift up the stencil, and then lay down fabric atop the image on the plate. (Honestly, I was a bit amazed that I was able to keep the fabric around the stencil so clean and white!) I am sorry to say I don’t remember exactly which stencil this is, but with more than 200 stencils in our online store I am sure you can find one you like!

Beginning to piece the stenciled tree block

Above is the start. The colors are great, but despite my earlier pride about keeping so much of the fabric surrounding the tree white, now I am just not liking the white ‘screaming’ at me from the background. I wasn’t sure what to do about it and finally decided to stamp it. I used Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pad in Danube Blue and a Cover-a-Card Script Stamp. The trick was to not stamp over the tree!

White background toned down with script stamp

Much better with the stamped background (photo above), I think!

Using additional hand-stamped and printed fabrics left over from sewing the Row by Row samples, I enlarged the overall dimensions. The bright green batik fabric you see on the right hand side was auditioning for binding. I think that the quilt needed a bright color.

Auditioning fabric for binding

While happier with the stamped background, as I was working I concluded that I stamped too much close to the tree. I softened those areas using some Stewart Gill Alchemy in the Opal shade; I simply painted over some of the stamping close to the tree (see detail below).

Stamped background selectively softened with Stewart Gill Alchemy paint

Once layered with batting and bound, I free-motion quilted the center tree block and the borders using Star Thread by Coats and Clark, which is a wonderful variegated thread.

Completed stenciled green tree art quilt by Judy Gula

Finished! Click here for a larger view of the completed quilt.

Exploring the Possibilities of Gelatos: Part 1

July 16th, 2014

Guest post: by Sharon McDonagh

On July 10 Artistic Artifacts hosted our monthly “How Do I Use This?” product demonstration, focusing on the versatility of Gelatos® from Faber-Castell, part of their Design Memory Craft line. Judy was busy packing up that evening to leave the next morning for the CREATE art retreat in New Jersey, so I took over leading the group. I’ve recently become a big fan of Gelatos and was happy to share my enthusiasm for the product.

Participants in the Artistic Artifacts “How Do I Use This?” Gelatos demonstration on July 10, 2014

Gelatos tag by Theresa Koenig

During our monthly monthly “How Do I Use This?” session, participants traditionally create samples on shipping tags. Although Gelatos go on a wide variety of surfaces without any advance preparation, to give some texture and interest I prepped tags in advance for with book text, sheet music, map paper, clear and white gesso, and modeling paste texture. This Gelatos tag created by Theresa Koenig.

To a customer looking at a package in a shop like ours, maybe it’s not immediately apparent what they can do — or what sets them apart from other products used to add color. I think to fully grasp the possibilities of Gelatos you really need to try them out, or at least commit to sampling some of the huge amount of web resources for using Gelatos — Faber-Castell’s own Design Memory Craft blog is a great starting point.

And because there are so many well-done resources, this posting isn’t going to reinvent the wheel…instead present you with some of our results and tips. Gelatos are so versatile that we are going to have to make this posting a two-parter!

Gelatos are highly pigmented sticks with a creamy consistency in a twist-up tube that reminds many of Chapstick. The stick glides easily onto paper and other surfaces and are easily blendable. A straight application of Gelatos can be left to dry for vibrant color, or misted/dissolved with water to create watercolor effects. Gelatos are available in a variety of sets or sold singly in the Double Scoop® size (twice as large as the regular Gelatos).

What did we use them on? Kind of everything! Below, foreground is a square of resist paper sold in craft stores for use with spray inks. You can also see the results of applying Gelatos directly to bubble wrap, misting it, and then stamping onto a tag and paper/fabric samples.

Gelatos on a variety of swatches

Using Gelatos with the resist paper is even more fun than using sprays, because you have so much more control with the placement and intensity of the colors and how they blend, as seen in the below example, created by Judy Albert.

Judy Albert example, Gelatos on resist paper

A green Gelatos stick is pictured below. But so is a yellow one. Don’t see it? It’s what is in the spray bottle! Yes, you can create your own spray inks by cutting off a portion of the stick, mashing it with a palette knife or other implement, and blending a bit of warm water into it to make a paste that you dilute to the strength you like.

Gelatos in spray ink form

Baby wipes are perfect for blending Gelatos on surfaces. Here, in addition to creating a color blend, we are removing some of the color through sequin waste to get pattern and texture.

Gelatos on watercolor paper with salt texture

The texture on the blue corner of this watercolor paper swatch comes from sprinkling salt onto the wet surface. Any watercolor technique can be applied to Gelatos.

Gelatos tag created by Judy Albert

Gelatos tag created by Judy Albert

The consistency makes most people think of oil pastels, or soft waxes, but as an experiment I intentionally left a Gelatos stick on the dashboard of my car for 8+ hours during one of the DC area’s summer heat waves. There was absolutely no melting or change. (I can attest from personal experience as an aunt that this is NOT the result you get from crayons!)

Gelatos would thus be ideal for creating a travel art kit for use while vacationing this summer. Or even simply throwing a few in your purse or tote along with your art journal for creating on the go.

One of the “rules” we have for these Thursday evening sessions is working with both paper and fabric, regardless of what the product is intended for. Judy has long pronounced her belief that anything you can do on paper, you can do on fabric.

Gelatos on fabric and cheesecloth
I’ve applied Gelatos to a number of types of fabrics/weights, with beautiful results. Pictured above, cotton fabric and cheesecloth (I love using this in needle felting!), colored with Gelatos. Applying just a few strokes of Gelatos onto your non-stick ironing and craft sheet (or freezer paper) and misting with water gives you beautiful color, much like a dye, that can be applied with a brush, by sponging on, or by dipping in, etc. (The intensity of color varies with the amount of water added.) It’s also fun to mist your fabric with water and apply the Gelatos on directly, and add additional water to watercolor blend the colors together.

The group really enjoyed using stencils, both to push color through or to remove color (artist Dina Wakley calls this reduction stenciling) with the Gelatos that evening. Below, Suzanne Langsdorf’s stenciled fish.

Suzanne Langsdorf’s stenciled fish

Above, another of Suzanne Langsdorf’s pages. Below, Beverly Hilbert works in her art journal.

Beverly Hilbert works in her art journal

Below, Beverly’ finished page. She took it home and added additional mixed media to it, and it is now part of her Documented Life Project journal. How gorgeous is this?

Beverly Hilbert Documented Life Project journal page

Gelatos tag created by Sharon McDonagh

Gelatos tag created by Sharon McDonagh

Gelatos can be used with rubber and polymer stamps, but generally speaking you are going to get a sort of soft/watercolor effect on your final print, because water needs to be misted onto either the stamp or the paper/surface for the color to transfer…hence really finely detailed stamps aren’t usually recommended.

But Gelatos are ideal for use on foam stamps: the wide surface area has the perfect ‘tooth’ for Gelatos to grip and blend. Like stencils, stamps can be used to both apply color, or to pull it away. You see many examples in this posting — the spiral swirls on the tags are easy to pick out.

So, recall me saying we weren’t going to be reinventing the wheel with techniques? Turns out we DO have an area of exploration that we think we are “pioneering” — stamping with wooden printing blocks.

But as this posting it already long, I am saving that, with additional photos and info, for Part II. Stay tuned!

Strip Piecing meets East

July 9th, 2014

Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts by Rayna Gillman

At Artistic Artifacts we had fun creating a pattern for the Row by Row Experience. (Well, let’s be honest: I had the fun part of the job, Sharon had the hair-pulling part of actually writing the pattern!)

But since our agreement to participate in this huge shop hop means we are unable to publish our Springtime Flora & Fauna pattern until this fall (after Row by Row ends), I came up with another piece to illustrate Rayna Gillman’s wonky strip piecing technique, a key design feature in our row.

I learned how to embrace rotary cutting without the rulers from reading Rayna’s book, Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts: a Stress-Free Journey to Original Design. If this technique interests you at all, I heartily suggest buying the book…for one, I can assure you her diagrams are much better than mine! Plus what I am about to show you is only one portion of the book, which is an amazing modern/art quilt reference I often recommend.

Hand Drawn Batik Panel by artist Jaka

Hand Drawn Batik Panel by artist Jaka, 2 Girlfriends

At Artistic Artifacts we have recently received a new shipment from Indonesia of wonderful Batik Panels by our artist friend Jaka. He creates imaginative designs, especially people: from women with an attitude to family settings, and village scenes. I have named the panel that caught my eye for this project 2 Girl Friends; it can be purchased from our online store.

I knew immediately that I would put an inner border using a beautiful royal blue batik, and it looked wonderful with the panel colors.

Free-Form Strip Piecing

Next was the strip piecing. Rayna encourages you to use leftover pieces of fabric that have already been cut for other quilt projects. But if, like me, you don’t have enough long strips hanging out in your stash, simply pull a variety of fabrics and cut strips. For this project mine are approximately 18 to 22″ long and 1¼" to 1½" wide. In her book Rayna recommends as a guideline initially working with strips that are 8" to 15" long and from 1" to 3" wide.

Below, the fabrics selected for strip piecing. (This is a real “behind the scenes” view: the messy tiny corner of my work table!)

Fabrics Selected for Strip Piecing

Here I have two strips ready for the process. My selected fabrics that have been cut (or torn) are placed, both right side facing up, with a slight overlap.

Right sides up, overlap two strips

Cut a gentle curve with your rotary cutter along the overlap. You are freehand cutting, no ruler needed! The sliver of purple showing underneath the orange, and the orange showing under the purple, are pulled away and not used: you will have a two strips with matching curves.

free hand rotary cutting strips

This part can be a bit tricky. When your two strips are placed, right sides together, to be sewn together the curves do not match up (as seen in the below photograph).

Match convex and concave strips together

If you have ever sewn a curved quilt block, such as a Drunkard’s Path, you will already be familiar with this concept, but if not, you have to pull the convex and concave edges of the fabrics together to be able to sew a seam. If your curves are gentle, this can be done by hand while you are at the machine, but if you don’t feel comfortable, pin the strips together to have the “peaks and valleys” (as Rayna calls them) match up. If you haven’t previously sewn curves together before it won’t seem as if they will seam together flat, but they will!

Wrong side of the strip: notice the imperfect seam allowance

Above, two wonky strips sewn together. Notice the imperfect seam allowance! In her book Rayna teaches you that you don’t always have to aim for a 1/4-inch seam allowance, that between ⅛" and ¼" is fine. I tested any of my seams that looked thin by gently pulling them apart; if the seam did not hold, I just stitched over it again.

Below, the front side of my free-form strip segment. One strip attached, many more to go! But these go together quicker than you might think, and it’s fun piecing because there’s no stress…imperfection is your goal.Free-form strips seamed together

Below, my completed unit of free-form strips. From this, I then cut bands that I used to border my panel.

large unit of free-form strips seamed together

And just in case you want to see this from the back, I’ve included the photo below. I pressed all of my seam allowances to one side. while you are stitching, you don’t worry if some are longer than others. Using Rayna’s method, the only time you use a ruler with your rotary cutter is to trim square those strip ends and to cut strips for borders (as I am) or blocks for precise piecing.

Reverse side of seamed strips

Below, here is my completed 2 Girl Friends Jaka batik panel with strip piecing edging. Well, completed without being layered, bound and quilted! Click on the photo for a larger view.

2 Girl Friends art quilt by Judy Gula

Vintage Ephemera For You — and My Fiber Beatles Quilt Unveiled!

July 2nd, 2014

In honor of the upcoming 4th of July holiday, I am gifting you with these free downloads of patriotic imagery. (Click on the link below each thumbnail to bring up its full-size version, then right-click —or click and hold on a Mac — and save the high resolution JPG to your computer.) These stereoscope images come from my collection of vintage ephemera. The stereoscope device enabled viewing separate left-eye and right-eye views of the same scene as a single three-dimensional image.

Click to download high resolution vintage image, Boys in Blue

Download high resolution vintage image, Boys in Blue »

Click to download high resolution vintage image, Statue of Liberty

Download high resolution vintage image, State of Liberty »

Vintage images really inspire me (see more on that below) and I hope you will find a use for these images in your fiber or mixed media projects.

“Inspired by the Beatles” Art Quilt Challenge

After nearly a year of waiting, all quilt artists who participated in the Inspired by the Beatles; An Art Quilt Challenge created and organized by Donna DeSoto.are now allowed to show off their quilts, and here is mine.

With a Little Help From My Friends, art quilt by Judy Gula

I was honestly surprised when I saw the list of songs that remained, as “With a Little Help From My Friends,” was still on the list. I would have thought that hit would have been snapped up early. I thought it was theperfect song for me, because I have wonderful friends who help and support me in so many ways!

Detail from With a Little Help From My Friends, an art quilt by Judy Gula

The vintage photo I used is of an all-female band: girlfriends, I am sure! With its music theme, vintage setting and female friends, I thought it was the perfect inspiration image for this challenge.

I collaged vintage fabrics, costume jewelry and more to create this 24" x 24" art quilt.

Detail from With a Little Help From My Friends, an art quilt by Judy Gula
Inspired by the Beatles; An Art Quilt Challenge

Inspired by the Beatles; An Art Quilt Challenge, is scheduled to be published a bit later this summer. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first performance in the USA, 150 fiber artists each chose a different song to interpret as a 24" x 24" art quilt. The cover quilt seen here, “Yellow Submarine,” was made by Cheryl Stanczyk.

Learn more and pre-order your copy through the Artistic Artifacts online store »

Left Overs

June 25th, 2014

Arts and Old Lace was the 2012 Art Quilt Challenge that was hosted by Artistic Artifacts and Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts.  Below is a photo of my completed Challenge Piece. (Click here for a large view of “Lace with Grace.”)

Arts and Old Lace Challenge Art Quilt

I design intuitively, which means that I don’t have a documented plan when I start a piece. I might have an idea that I like, a vintage photo, a couple of items that go together… but otherwise I am a tornado in my studio, pulling items and testing how I feel about the composition in real time.  

After the tornado there are sometimes items that I think still work together, and ‘why don’t I just start the next art quilt’….. so these items are kept together. I think I have been moving the below pictured grouping around my studio for about two years now.

Testing the layout

Testing the layout

Do you see the white clay doll in the middle? She is a Frozen Charlotte and came from Germany. I just love these vintage china pieces and wanted her to be the focal point of a quilt.  Originally I thought this piece would have to be mounted on a canvas due to the weight of Charlotte, but it turned out to be fine. The lesson today is how to mount three-dimensional items to your quilt with glue!

Glue!! I know, I freaked you out, didn’t I? But yes, glue. The trick is to glue the item to another piece of fabric, like ultrasuede or, as in this case, a piece of vilene, then stitch that onto your art quilt.

Frozen Charlotte attached to Vilene

Pelment Vilene is a European product that is similar to Lutradur. The Tentakulum company includes hand-painted pieces in several of its popular Painted Threads products, for example, the Painter’s Pixies. For this project, I cut down a postcard size piece. I took matte gel medium (fabric glue is fine also) and applied it to the back of the frozen Charlotte at the points that would meet the Vilene.

In addition, I used a double strand of beading thread, secured around the neck and one leg of the doll. I thought about adding pearls or small beads to the tie downs, but in the end decided not to.

Stablize vintage ribbon

To stablize the vintage ribbon that was used in the art quilt, I applied a stiff organza fabric with Mistyfuse. Doing so helped to keep the vintage material together and straight, as well as making stitching through the ribbon easier.

The Art Quilt Base Stitched and Bound

I have learned the hard way that it is necessary to machine stitch the background before adding my layers. And for this particular project, I even applied and stitched the binding on before attaching the doll.

The remainder of the items — ribbon, lace, buttons, pearls — were all stitched on by hand. In other projects I will add such layers on with machine stitching, but in this case I felt the condition of the ribbon and lace cuff would would be better preserved with careful hand stitching.

Photos of My Finished Art Quilt

Frozen Charlotte At Home

Frozen Charlotte attached side view

Art Quilt with Frozen Charlotte

Show and Tell with Artistic Artifacts

June 18th, 2014

One of the greatest benefits of what we do at Artistic Artifacts is being the recipient of Show and Tell sessions, whether in the shop or via email! Here is our latest, received from Margret Lehnert, who lives in Venice, Florida:

Hi Judy, finally got the Australian Quilt done and wanted to send you pictures of it. You wanted to see the end result. I also refinished all my pillowcases to match the quilt. It all goes well with the leather sofa and chairs.

The quilt pattern is the simple “Yellow Brick Road” Pattern, which has been around for a while. Also used bamboo batting to make it nice and soft.

Love the fabrics and have enough left to make a table runner!


Yellow Brick Road with Australian Fabrics

Quilt and Pillows on leather Sofa


Also, we held a fun tag class on Saturday, June 14, Words of Wisdom: a Little Book of Design Inspiration with Diane Herbort. Ann Douglas was one of the students enjoying the day. Her beautiful granddaugher was unable to join us in the class, but afterwards enjoyed a craft day with Grandma!

Ann Douglas' Grand Daughter creating Tag Art


On June 12 we hosted our monthly “How Do I Use This?” product demonstration and hands-on play. The subject this month was using DeColourant and DeColourant Plus. These products work on dyed natural fabrics, such as cotton, rayon, or linen, as well as on many papers.

Decolourant wooden block printed on handmade black paper

We stamped and applied deColourant (removes color) and deColourant Plus (removes color while adding a new color pigment) on fabric swatches and on handmade paper. I have used DeColorant on fabric many times, but I had never tried it on handmade paper.

De Colourant, paper, foam mat

As you will see we all made use of my favorite tools, wooden printing blocks to create surface designs! So I’ll begin with a quick review of how to print using wooden blocks:

Pour a small amount of deColourant onto a plate or pallette, then use a sponge apply it to the wooden printing block. Place your paper or fabric on a foam printing mat, then press the wooden printing block firmly onto the surface to transfer the deColourant.  

Results of DeColourant on Fabric

I did find that the sponge did not work as well with deColourant as it does with Fabric Paint. We tried a fan brush during our class and got better results.

After the deColourant is dry, iron with a hot (cotton setting) steam iron to active the discharge. Heat is necessary to activate the deColourant, and the more heat, the more color is removed, so ironing, with steam, seems to give the best results. (The manufacturer notes that you can use a heat gun, or even lay your fabric or paper out in the sun.)

Results of deColourant on Handmade Paper

Using deColourant, you will find that some dye colors discharge to lighter versions of the original color (like a pale pink from red), some turn to a different color entirely (black fabric and paper is known for this surprise; you can see it discharge to white, or to light oranges, greens and more), and some don’t discharge much at all. Similarly, the amount of color added by using the deColurant Plus can vary. You have to test and experiment!

One of the great features of these products is that they don’t change your fabric or papers in any way: the “hand” of your surface remains unchanged.

Tags using my stamped Handmade paper

deColourant works exclusively on the color dyes that are in the fabric and paper, removing (and in the case of deColourant Plus, replacing them with your color choice) in an easy, one-step process.

As I had noted, I hadn’t previously tried deColourant or deColourant Plus on paper, so the results of that were fun to see!

Join us for next month’s “How Do I Use This?” session on Thursday, July 10, 6:30 – 8:30 pm — we will be experimenting with Gelatos!

Some additional photographic inspiration from our session:

One side of the Table

Theresa assembling her Tags

Judy Albert Turning stamping into Magic

Bubble Wrap will go down in History as the best stamp ever!

Robin's Egg Blue deColourant Plus

Barb's Tags

Wooden Printing Blocks and Modern Hand Stitching

June 11th, 2014

When printing with wooden print blocks, it is one of those tasks that is better done without an end result in mind… at least that is how I feel. Just enjoy creating fabric, stamping patterns and have fun!

Wood Block Printed Owl

I printed two pieces of fabric with wooden printing blocks, which are hand carved in India, using PROFab Opaque Textile Paint. The first bird is stamped on plain white muslin, while the owl has been printed on a watercolor batik. Inspired by Ruth Chandler’s wonderful book, Modern Hand Stitching I decided to stitch over my block printing with Tentakulum Painter’s Thread.

In preparation for hand-stitching, I took the fabric, applied Mistyfuse to the back, and attached it to a light weight flannel or Osnaburg. The Mistyfuse prevents bearding of the quilt batting, while the thin flannel keeps the quilt thin. The completed stitched block can be layered over quilt batting and backing to finish.

Above, Block Printed Birds. below, Block Printed Owls

My idea is to use different stitches and Tentakulum threads on each owl.  But those honeycomb owl bodies scream cross stitches!

Wood Block Printing Bird Layout

Close up of the Hand Stitched Bird. One completed, two to go. I will probably leave one bird as a printed/stamped image only.

Wooden Block Printed Bird embellished with Hand Stitching

Wood Block Printed Owl Embellished with Hand Stitching

As you can see, these stitching experiments are still a work in progress. But I am enjoying working on them, and I think that the end result will be that these fine-feathered fowls will find their way into art quilts!

For the next inspiration, look at your fabrics monoprinted with your Gelli Arts™ Gel Printing Plate and those surface designed with stencils, such as the example shown at the end of this post.  Do the shapes and colors inspire you to pick up some thread and begin stitching?




Inspiration! From Facebook to Amsterdam

June 4th, 2014

I try to check Facebook every morning, but I have to be quick about it so I don’t get sucked in. You all know about that … right?! Well, today, I totally got sucked in.  Through Facebook, I discovered a cool textile blog written by Geri deGruy called Explorations.  Geri’s most recent post discussed a wonderful website called Open Culture, which sends out daily emails about free cultural and educational resources on the web.

Through a post on Open Culture, Geri discovered that museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art are now creating digital photo files of their artwork. The museums participating so far are listed in this blog post by Open Culture.

Are you still with me?  My story doesn’t end here…  One of the museums listed is the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Why am I specifically interested in this collection? Indonesia, of course! The Dutch occupied Indonesia for centuries. Some of the world’s best collections of batiks were collected by the Dutch. So, I thought this museum might have a wealth of batik patterns to view. I searched on “batik” and many really cool images came up — I was so excited!  I wanted copies!

You can  create an account at Rijksmuseum website and save the photos that you like to that account. So, of course, I created an account, logged in, started saving the photos that I wanted …. AND then I got an email from the museum. I had won a prize for being the 150,000 visitor to create an account at the Rijksmuseum! And this was all before 8am!

Studio portrait of a young Javanese woman in a dancing posture, Kassian Cephas, c. 1867 - c. 1910

Studio portrait of one young Javanese woman, Kassian Cephas, c. 1870 - c. 1912

Studio portrait of a seated young woman in a sarong with Javanese batik motif, Kassian Cephas, c. 1867 - c. 1910

Studio portrait of a seated young Javanese woman, Kassian Cephas, c. 1890 - c. 1910

I am just blown away by these photos and thrilled that I found them.  Thank you to the Rijksmuseum for these wonderful photos. I will be crusing additional museum digital sites soon!

Memento Ink Pads + Wooden Printing Blocks = Fun!

May 28th, 2014

Create a Postcard, Win a Block!

I’ve stated this many times so far in this blog, and here is it again: I am a fabric girl. I am continuing to learn about using paper, and enjoy it, but fabric is my go-to medium.

So with that being said, I am pretty fearless using products on fabric that aren’t meant to be used on fabric. But I will I jump right on it when a manufacturer takes care of the testing for me, and states up front that its product is FOR use on fabric! That is the case with Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads (see more about them at the end of this post).

Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads are made by Tsukineko, which the first manufacturer that I knew of that created inks that were permanent on fabric when heat set. At that time they came in a marker form. Now we have ink pads!

Next enter wooden printing blocks — limitless fun in pattern form! My current stash of various types of ink pads had never worked with wooden printing blocks: the wood sucked up the ink too quickly, leaving either nothing to be transfered to the fabric, or such a faint and uneven print that it wasn’t suitable. A friend suggested that I try Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads with my wooden printing blocks and it works beautifully!

I was thrilled with the results of just ink on fabric. But because these inks are very “juicy” I was able to add embossing powders for texture. (Told you, I’m all about using non-fabric products on fabric.) I’m hooked!

I had some Postcards fabric collaged and ready to go.

Below are some results of my testing:

Apply the ink to the wooden printing block

From Top down Wooden printing Block, fabric postcard, foam mat

Applied Black Gesso (Instead of white) to postcard creating an oval

stamped with memento, covered with embossing Powder, add heat

A New Postcard!

Using Clear Embossing Powder, UTEE

The Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink and embossing powder is very cool, but what if I want to keep the color of the ink? Enter clear embossing powder — I used Melt Art Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (which is also available in five colors).

Samples of Postcards with Memento Inks and Embossing Powder Finish

This idea would of course show up better if the fabric was a solid or very small print… but you know me, I like to collage my postcards…

Below is a swatch print of my new favorite paisley wooden printing blocks. Each of the three prints began with white Memento Luxe Mixed Media ink: left is the print alone, center is topped with Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Powders in Fired Brick (these are a little softer in color and texture; after you apply and emboss with your heat gun, you rub the embossed element, which releases special crystals to give you a textured, worn and weathered look) and right is topped with Metallic Embossing Powder in gold.

Test swatch, inks and embossing powders on fabric

So, a bit of a challenge for you: try out this technique to create your own fabric (or paper/cardstock) postcard. Mail it by June 14 to me and your name will be entered into a drawing for a Wooden Printing Block! My choice, your sweet surprise!

Mail your finished postcard to :

Judy Gula
Artistic Artifacts
4750 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304

Memento Luxe Facts from Tsukineko Inks:

  • Mixed media ink can be used on any porous surface: paper, fabric, wood, leather and more.
  • Permanent on fabric when heat set and will remain vibrant on textiles even after repeated washings
  • Available in 24 vibrant colors
  • Great ink for paper projects as well as mixed media
  • Highly fade-resistant ink
  • Relatively fast drying for a pigment ink

Spring Quilt Market Pittsburgh PA 2014

May 21st, 2014

Liz Kettle, Ruth Chandler, my husband Dave Gula and I have just returned from the Spring edition of the International Quilt Market, which took place May 16-18, 2014 at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. (The Spring Market is in a different location each year, while the Fall Market is always in Houston, TX).

Quilt Market is a really large “trade-only” show, open to quilting, fabric and other fiber businesses so that they can sell products, buy for their own stores, learn about upcoming colors and trends from the major suppliers, etc.

Liz and Ruth both teach during market, and so packed up from their week-plus here in Alexandria with me. Ruth was also promoting her new book Modern Hand Stitching. Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal had a booth, and Dave and I shopped for the business also.

As mentioned in this week’s Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal enewsletter, I was delighted to meet Leah Day when she stopped by my booth. I was doubly flattered when she mentioned meeting me on her own blog! See more below on Leah and her products: 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs, which compiles all of the quilted designs from the Free Motion Quilting Project, Free Motion Quilting From Flames to Feathers, a smaller reference featuring 50 designs for all skill levels, and her Free Motion Quilting From Flames to Feathers DVD, with lessons to follow step by step, taking your machine quilting to the next level.

It was a busy weekend! Below is a sampling of Quilt Market for you in photos. (Right click on any photo thumbnail to open a larger view in a new window).