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Watch Artistic Artifacts Demo Techniques on Great Day Washington!

Artistic Artifacts is ready for its Great Day Washington taping

Demonstrating surface design techniquesMonday, January 30 was an exciting day for Artistic Artifacts as we appeared live on Great Day Washington, a local morning show on Washington DC’s WUSA*9 TV (CBS affiliate).

Lifestyle Correspondent Meaghan Mooney and her cameraman arrived early in the morning and ran four different “live hits” from 8:55 to 10 am. This amazing opportunity came about because they saw that our customers give us top ratings on Facebook and Yelp…what gratifying news to hear!

For those unable to watch live, we wanted to share the segments from the Great Day Washington portion of WUSA 9 website here.

Click to watch block printing and other surface design techniques

For the first segment — watch online now — Judy demonstrated block Printing on fabric and paper, using hand-carved wooden printing blocks and Artistic Artifacts’ own textile paints. (Join us this weekend for your own opportunity to experiment with this centuries old technique in Block Printing with Cyndi Souder.

The Artistic Artifacts line of Fluid Textile Paints were used for all surface design demonstrations

Additional surface design techniques were also showcased in this segment. Pictured below, Susan Gantz (left) is demonstrating monoprinting on a Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate, while Sue Price of PG Fiber2Art is demonstrating Thermofax screen printing — join us February 18 for Printing with Thermofax Screens with PG Fiber2Art to learn how to create your own screen printed fabric.

Susan Gantz demonstrating monoprinting and Sue Price of PG Fiber2Art demonstrating Thermofax screen printing

Susan Gantz didn’t think she was a big metallic fan, but experimenting with the Artistic Artifacts Fluid Textile Paint set of Silver, Gold and Copper while demonstrating (see some results below) has now changed her mind!

Monoprint by Susan Gantz in progress and completed

In the second segment, Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts, Ambassador for BERNINA, demonstrated foundation paper piecing to create quilt blocks using a BERNINA sewing machine — watch online now.

Click to watch Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts demonstrate paper piecing

Cyndi Souder shows Meaghan Mooney of WUSA9 a paper pieced block

The paper piecing technique offers complete accuracy: precise points and a visually complex design become easy to execute. Join us on Saturday, February 11 for Cyndi’s class Beginning Paper Piecing Row By Row. Above, Cyndi shows Great Day Washington Lifestyle Correspondent Meaghan Mooney (right) a completed block from our 2016 Row by Row Experience pattern kit.

Click to watch a discussion of, and examples of, mixed media and upcycled art

The third segment — watch online now — featured Judy talking about mixed media techniques and upcycling with members of Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs), a group that meets at Artistic Artifacts monthly. Judy began by showing off results from the JAMs Box Challenge conceived by Barb Boatman of Cut Sew Create studio (see more photos of the results in our past Facebook album), repurposing dimensional wood box frames formerly used on a display wall of automotive products.

Meahgan Mooney meeting Artistic Artfacts customers and members of JAMs

Members used these surfaces to create small artworks that incorporated products from Artistic Artifacts that they had in their stashes, and/or that they had purchased new. JAMs member Beth Richardson explained the sea turtle box she created, and viewers also get a chance to some of the pages of an art journal that Beverly Hilbert has created.

Click to watch a demonstration of hand-stitching on a batik panel and learn more about how they are created

The final demonstration was Christine Vinh of StitchesnQuilts discussing how batik panels are handcrafted in Indonesia as well as demonstrating hand-stitching on one by the popular batik artist Jakawatch online now.

Batik art panels at Artistic Artifacts

Christine Vinh and Suzanne LangsdorfAbove, our batik panel “station” set up for filming. Chris used Tulip needles, a selection of WonderFil Specialty Threads, and was inspired by Modern Hand Stitching by Ruth Chandler. This segment also includes a walk-through of the shop back to the BERNINA machine embroidery demonstration by Denise Reuter of Artistic Artifacts, who has several years experience as a manager and educator for BERNINA Sewing Machine USA. Artistic Artifacts is a new BERNINA dealer!

In her segment Chris wore her beautiful Schoolhouse Tunic, which was sewn for her by JAMs member Suzanne Langsdorf using Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik in Woodstock, Jam and fabric from a sarong imported from Indonesia. Pictured right, Chris preps for her filming with the caffeine boost of coffee while Suzanne teasingly waves to the camera.

And as if the “official” taping didn’t keep us all hopping enough Judy’s son Kyle also streamed video content live (archived below) on Facebook!

In this livestream “you can hear me talk about my latest artwork (at time mark 15:40 in the video) about my written meditation on forgiveness,” writes mixed media artist Wendy Sittner, pictured below, “when I got to participate in Artistic Artifacts’s appearance on WUSA9 Great Day Washington live with Meaghan Mooney. Owner Judy Vincentz Gula did amazing and Meaghan was so friendly and made us feel so comfortable on camera.”

"Wendy Sittner with her written meditation on forgiveness

For Artistic Artifacts, this really was a "Great Day" — we extend our deepest gratitude to WUSA9 for visiting our store and showcasing the fiber and mixed media talent and techniques of our creative minds!

Artistic Artifacts staff and customers during the Great Day Washington filming

Below, machine embroidery by Denise Reuter.

Always color outside the lines -- machine embroidery by Denise Reuter

Using WonderFil Threads to Accent Block Prints

Block printed table runner bordered in Australian fabric, prebound

The center panel of my block printed table runner, pictured above pre-bound, began as a sample cloth. When I exhibit at quilt shows, I demo block printing (remember that this blog contains a Block Printing Introduction tutorial) and this length of fabric contains multiple prints accumulated over a show. I decided this was an ideal piece to continue with, challenging myself to work in a subdued palette.

I used an assortment of our beautiful, collectible wooden printing blocks, hand carved by artisans in India for this runner. Most the designs you see in use here are currently out of stock, but we have another shipment arriving any day now, so keep checking in with us!

GRABAROO’S® gloves and Konfetti™ threads by WonderFil

Above, using a pair of GRABAROO’S® gloves gives you extra grip when you are free-motion quilting — you will really feel a difference in handling and moving your quilt sandwich. Pictured center are the Konfetti™ threads I chose: from top to bottom, 101 Soft White, 905 Sterling Grey and 902 Medium Grey. Konfetti, one of the many specialty threads by WonderFil we now carry, is 3-ply, 50wt cotton low lint thread, ideal for use in free motion quilting and more. In the hopes of making my runner reversible, I used the Konfetti in both my top and bobbin thread. I loved the feel of it… very easy to use

Using the fabric pattern to guide free motion quilting

A simple way to freemotion quilt is to just follow the design printed on the fabric!

Block printed center bordered with Australian fabric

I used Bush Coconut Dreaming Brown by Audrey Martin for the borders. This is one of the amazing Australian Aboriginal fabrics we carry; the color combinations and authentic tribal designs are so inspiring!

Freemotion quilting with Konfetti thread by WonderFil

Above, a detail of stitching the design that was created by the wooden block print.

Block prints free motion stitched with Konfetti thread

Additional views. At this stage, all the thread needs to be pulled to the back and hidden yet.

Block prints free motion stitched with Konfetti thread

So, what do you think?

Block Printed Ornaments Featuring Terial Magic

Block Printed fabric snowflakes created by Judy Gula using Terial Magic spray

No matter how busy the holiday rush is, I want to handcraft at least one gift or ornament each year. But because of that very sameholiday rush this year, I wanted a project that could be done quickly and easily!

I created these ornaments using Terial Magic™ (a fabric stabilizing spray), an assortment of our wooden printing blocks, WB171 Snowflake, WB393 Snowflake and WB394 Snowflake; Opaque Textile Paint by Artistic Artifacts, various shirting scraps and WonderFil Dazzle thread.

Supplies used to create Block Printed fabric snowflakes

I trimmed the shirting fabric to the size of the wooden printing block plus ½” each side. After trimming, the fabric was treated with Terial Magic. The simple steps to use Terial Magic are 1) Spray to saturate (photo below), 2) Dry until damp and 3) Iron to set. (Last summer we wrote a review of Terial Magic and included complete details about how to apply it and its many uses: a useful and versatile product!)

Treating fabric swatches with Terial Magic spray

Once the treated fabric was dried and ironed, we stamped using the snowflake wooden printing block and one color of paint. I’ve provided many block printing tutorials in the past, but as always I want to emphasize the importance of using a dense foam printing mat under your fabric to achieve the best results. Each ornament requires four snowflake stamped fabric pieces.

Block printing onto Terial Magic treated fabric swatch

Block printed snowflake on a Terial Magic treated fabric swatch

After the paint has dried the fabric is ironed and trimmed closer to the shape of the snowflake pattern (photo below). The snowflake prints, now cut out, are stacked with snowflake print up and then alternate snowflake print down, snowflake up, snowflake down.
Trimmed fabric block printed snowflakes

Sew a straight stitch down the center line of your neat stack, which holds all the snowflakes together.

For a bit of festive sparkle, I cut a piece of Dazzle Thread by WonderFil to use for the loop to hang the ornament, zig-zag stitching to hold it in place (photo below).

Adding Dazzle thread by WonderFil to stitched fabric snowflake

Finger press your fabric sections open, and there you have it! My finished ornaments are pictured at the top of this post…you can also see a resin cookie cutter ornament created by my niece in a recent class held here at the shop by Leslie Brier.

P.S. We are making progress getting the wide assortment of WonderFil threads up on our website — keep checking in with us! The Threaducation Center is your place to interact with like minded people, develop new friendships and be inspired! Schedule your next fiber arts group activity with us at the Center today!

Block Printed Projects in Martha Stewart Living!

cover of Martha Stewart Living, November 2016

We’re so excited to be featured in the November 2016 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine!

We were contacted earlier this year (magazines have such long lead times to production) and were delighted with the end result and seeing our wooden printing blocks and textile paints used in such a beautiful way!

The magazine reads, “Block printed linenas are costly to buy, but surprisingly simple to make. With little more than textile paint, muslin fabric, and woodblock stamps, a personalized setting is close at hand. We went with a botanical motif, but choose whatever appeals to you.”

Artistic Artifacts wooden printing blocks and textile paints used in a Martha Stewart Living project, November 2016

Artistic Artifacts wooden printing blocks and textile paints used in a Martha Stewart Living project, November 2016

Artistic Artifacts wooden printing blocks and textile paints used in a Martha Stewart Living project, November 2016
Source attribution, Martha Stewart Living magazine, November 2016

Project designers Silke Stoddard and Tanya Graff used a palette of our Transparent Textile Paint in 15 Colonial Gold, 45 True Blue and 403 Indigo. These paints have a thick, pudding-like consistency, making them ideal for block printing. They used our foam printing mats to ensure the best prints, and printed on muslin (see sources, right)…and here’s a tip for you: we sell Nature’s Way™ by Roc-lon® muslin at just $4.00 a yard!

Blocks used in the magazine project, which includes instructions, are:

Pick up your copy of the November 2016 Martha Stewart Living to share in our “grateful spread” as well as for the usual wonderful recipes, decorating ideas and more. For our own tips on block printing, please see:

  1. Block Printing Intro
  2. Creating and Embellishing Block Printed Textiles
  3. A Sampling of Block Printed Art Quilts

Transforming Upholstered Chairs

Fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt used wooden printing blocks and fabric paint to transform an upholstered chair

While Judy’s away, we are sharing a wonderful post by fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt, who recently completed the transformation of an armchair using fabric paint and a selection of the wooden printing blocks sold by Artistic Artifacts that Judy had gifted her with.

Yes, Judy is on a well-deserved vacation to Italy! If you haven’t been checking the Artistic Artifacts Facebook page, do so — she is posting some absolutely gorgeous photos of scenery, color and texture to make us all drool with envy.

A sampling of photos taken by Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula while she is in Italy on vacation

Upon receiving the blocks, Judi Hurwitt promised a project and a blog posting…and wow, what she dreamed up! She purchased an upholstered rocker/glider combination arm chair from a neighbor that was in great condition, but upholstered in a pastel nursery fabric (as shown at the top of this post).

Stage 1 of transforming an upholstered chair with wooden printing blocks and fabric paint by fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt

After givng the chair a coat of opaque white textile paint, Judi began her surface design treatment. The above photo shows the chair after the first stages. Because she knew she ultimately “wanted heavy layering of colors and textures,” she began with her lighter colors, shades of yellow and magenta that she blended. She notes that the above photo shows how she “had also begun to apply the same paints in white, two yellows, and magenta with some of the wooden blocks. I used the same colors as the base colors, particularly the white, to create a resist for later, darker layers.”

Detail, Stage 1 of transforming an upholstered chair with wooden printing blocks and fabric paint by fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt

Detail of this first stage, above. We think Judi could have stopped here and it would have been a beautiful project as is! And actually, she did stop there for a time…her blog shares her experience with “artist lock.”

Detail of final surface design treatment on an upholstered chair with wooden printing blocks and fabric paint by fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt

She got back on track after time to finish with a complex blend of color, pattern and texture — we’ve shown you just a small detail “teaser” photo above. Visit her blog, Approachable Art by Judy Hurwit for the finished chair, and more on how she transformed it, including many more of her photographs (several used here with her permission) and info about breaking out of that artist lock.

Plus, we have another chair transformation to share with you!

Wing chair upholstered in batik fabric from Artistic Artifacts; chair owned by Ellen Taylor of Arlington, VA

The batik beauty pictured above began life upholstered in a large floral/fauna fabric featuring colors that no longer suited the owner, our friend and customer Ellen Taylor. Didn’t it turn out wonderfully?

The before view of wing chair owned by Ellen Taylor of Arlington, VA

The “before” wing chair is pictured here, right, and was in good shape otherwise. Ellen perused many of our beautiful batik fabrics before finding the perfect one for her redo. While she didn’t upholster the chair herself, handing it off to a professional, depending on the complexity of your chair and your own level of expertise you might feel up for the challenge of doing it yourself. Either way, you end up with a one of a kind piece of furniture that sparks joy every time you see it!

Ellen is a member of JAMs (Judy’s Altered Minds), which meets at the Artistic Artifacts shop on the third Sunday of each month. If you don’t live close enough to join us in person, we hope you will join our new Facebook Group, Artistic Artifacts’ Creative Minds, which serves as a “virtual” extension of JAMs.

Representing all levels of expertise, Artistic Artifacts’ Creative Minds is a online home for our Creative Minds to encourage and support like-minded friends! Group members from all over have a place to share ideas and projects with one another. Art quilters, collage artists, art journal keepers, surface design enthusiasts, paper crafters, assemblage & art doll artists — come join us there!

Floral Block Printed Quilt-let

sewingleafstemquilt

When new wooden printing blocks arrive, I usually cannot resist adding one or more of the designs to my own personal collection. This piece is a result of my jumping to try out WB110 Leaves and Stem, a nicely sized and detailed rectangular block in a variety of colors.

Digging through my bin that stores my printed swatches, I found one of the Leaves and Stems prints and paired it with another print, a 4-up grid of WB344 Daisy Square Flower on a pink/green batik. Both had been printed with green textile paint and I knew I had the perfect complement in my stash: I chose a bright batik to sew these together with sashing and borders.

Using the pillow case construction method to complete quilt-let

There are several names for the technique I used to complete this quilt together: pillow case construction, escape hatch, knife edge: you end up with a traditional 3 layer quilt with no binding. Very easy to, and it creates a nice finish (here’s one explanation).

Using the pillow case construction method to complete quilt-let

Cut a slit very carefully in the back fabric and pull the right side out.

Cut a slit very carefully in the back fabric and pull the right side out

Once the quilt had been turned inside out and was pressed and ready for quilting, my next experiment was to try a heavier thread for my free motion quilting. This is more toward the 12 weight on the flowers and leaves. I carried the leaf motif down the side to join the flowers and the leaves.

Detail, free motion quilting

Completed block printed quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Finished: one more quick quilt-let! I love the leaf stamp and look forward to using it again.

I’m Teaching Block Printing for The Fiber Art Connection!

As noted in our latest enewsletter, registration is now open for Session 2 of The Fiber Art Connection, with classes beginning September 1. Each of the six lesson is a two week long artist immersion, for a total 12 weeks as well as a bonus week.

The Fiber Art Connection is a fully-interactive online class platform that allows teachers and students to connect: participate in live calls and webinars as well as a private Facebook community and message boards. If you are unable to attend the live calls or webinars, no worries: everything is recorded, and will be accessible to registrants indefinitely.

The lineup for Session 2:

  • Desiree Habicht, Lesson 1, Old World Tiles: a wonderful introduction to using Acrylic inks on fabric that adds painting techniques, inks, netting and threads to create the look of old world tiles.
  • Lenore Crawford, Lesson 2, Gelling Crocuses & Crazy Colored Shoes: learn her technique to create beautiful, ultra realistic fiber art in a class offered exclusively to the students at the Fiber Art Connection — a method that allow you to cover almost anything with beautiful fabrics. Plus, her Crazy Colored Shoes, long requested by her students, is being offered for the first tim exclusively for the Fiber Art Connection
  • Lisa Chin, Lesson 3, Create your own Stamps for Fabric Design: learn how to carve rubber stamps using your own drawings (or copyright- free images) to customize hand dyed or commercial fabric. You will learn how to carve words and patterns and how layer stamps as well as discuss the best paints, inks and stamp pads to use on fabric.
  • Libby Williamson, Lesson 4, Stitch-Paint-Whimsy: enjoy two weeks of creative fun as Libby guides you through her free-motion stitching techniques, combing cloth and paper fibers and assorted mark-making techniques to create textural, brightly colored art.
  • Suzanne Connors, Lesson 5,Introduction to Eco-Printing: experience the magic and surprise of color that can be achieved with Eco-Printing (using plants to dye and print on fiber through contact printing methods). Learn how to choose and prepare plants for dyeing; to understand the print process on protein fibers; different techniques of folding, tying fabric, shibori and other types of resist as well as methods of constructing and cooking bundles.
  • Judy Gula, Lesson 6, Wooden Block Printing and More: learn to lock print on textiles using hand-carved wooden printing blocks. You will explore several different surface design techniques that will give each of your blocks a hand stamped or designed look.

The bonus week will be filled with projects, ideas, and helpful hints on a variety of topics. It is also an opportunity for you to submit your big questions at anytime during the week to any of the artists for an answer, as well as a closing celebration of all that was accomplished during the Session; to show off the projects that were made in class.

Block Printed Quilt-lets

I enjoy printing with my wooden printing blocks on fabric. I often print on small pieces of fabric using a motif, without an advance plan for how the pieces will be used.

When I saw what Jamie Fingel did for her Rebel Quilting (which I studied up on in order to take Jamie’s place at Portland Art & Soul), I thought that instead of using pieces of stenciled fabrics as Jamie does, I could instead use my block printed squares and rectangles.

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

So I gathered up my stash of wooden block printed fabrics, a piece of felt, Misty Fuse, rotary cutter and mat and went to work straightening the edges of the printed fabrics.

After cutting a rectangular piece of felt, I applied Misty Fuse to the entire surface. My first attempt of fusing on a multitude of block prints and fabric strips resulted in lots of colors and patterns. Frankly, It was an ugly disaster! While I saved it as a reminder of what not to do, I’ve “conveniently” misplaced it to avoid the visual spreading out on the World Wide Web!

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Taking a deep breath I stepped back and tried to calm the arrangement down into something I’d be happy with. How to do that?

The big Aha! moment: limit the color palette of our quilt-lets By printing the wood block motifs in the same colors and by using a limited number of coordinating fabric in between the block prints.

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Included in this post above are some of the art quilts I’ve made since that aha moment. These are the perfect size to experiment with some thread sketching and free-motion quilting. I “bind” the edges with a loose satin stitch all around to prevent unraveling and fraying.

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I’m also sharing some photos from our June 11 Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt as I taught students how to print and design their own version of these quilts.

Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

We all had a great time creating that day! As usual, we enjoyed ourselves so much we didn’t take nearly as many photos to share as we should have. Everyone walked away with wonderful pieces!

Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Student work, Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Student work, Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Student work, Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

A Sampling of Block Printed Art Quilts

Posts in Judy’s March Artist for The Printed Fabric Bee series:

  1. Block Printing Intro
  2. Creating and Embellishing Block Printed Textiles
  3. A Sampling of Block Printed Art Quilts

In my last post I promised that I would conclude my stint as the March artist by showing off some of the quilts that I’ve made (alone or collaborating with other artists) using wooden printing blocks.

Several years ago Artistic Artifacts hosted the talented British textile artist Jamie Malden, owner of Colouricious, for a block printing workshop. Jamie’s time in town coincided with a visit from Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution, and so we dedicated some time to work collaboratively. Liz titled her blog post about this creative event “3 Artists + 3 Days = Creative Frenzy” — very apt!

The below quilt was created using the WB12 Orchid block and was bordered and bound with two of our Combanasi batiks, which feature silk screen motifs with traditional batik techniques (view larger image).

Orchid Block Printed Art quilt

Several of the orchid prints were embellished with a variety of hand-stitches using Tentakulum Handpainted Fibers: see detail photo below.

Detail, Orchid Block Printed Art quilt

Our dragonfly quilt features a print from the WB212 DragonflyDragonfly in Wetland square block as the center, accented with hand-dyed fibers and trim. It’s bordered by hand-dyed fabric block printed with a variety of paisleys and florals. (View larger image)

Dragonfly Block Printed Art Quilt

The below quilt uses our large leaf block with white PROfab Opaque Textile Paint, printed atop fabrics that were monoprinted using stencils, bubble wrap and more on a Gelli Arts™ Gel Printing Plate (view larger image). If you haven’t experimented with monoprinting on a Gelli plate, I want to encourage you to give it a try — such a fun surface design technique!

Leaf Block Printed Art Quilt

We used this quilt as the backdrop for our prize package photo. The center is the WB213 Primitive Peacock block on monoprinted fabric, surrounded by fabric collage (monoprints, stamped, etc.) and stitched to a hand-dyed vintage linen piece. The base of this quilt is a hand-dyed commercial black & white fabric; I collect black & white fabrics specifically to dye them! The quilt was accented with beading (view large image).

Peacock Block Printed Art Quilt

In my last post I gave you a glimpse of working on Lutradur to create snowflakes. Visit the Artistic Artifacts blog to learn more about the creation of this quilt. Below is the finished quilt (view larger image).

Snowflake Block Printed Art Quilt

The below is the final assembled result that came after I was inspired by a demonstration during one of our monthly JAMs meetings. That demo led to a LOT of new fans of the process all putting their own spin similar little hand stitch quiltlets.

Slow Stitch Outsider Art Quilt

While I did make some new pieces for this one, the majority of the block prints were collected from the many, many wood block demonstrations I’ve held over the years; in my shop, at quilt shows, etc. I really enjoyed giving these a ‘home’ and having the individual pieces be a portable hand-stitching project (until the final stitching together). Visit my archived blog post for more on my Slow Stitched Outsider Art Quilt, including links to tutorial videos by Teesha Moore.

Last Chance: Leave a Comment for Your Opportunity to Win!

NOTE: Prize has been awarded. One lucky U.S.-based winner will be randomly drawn from the list of all who have commented on these March block printing postings. Comments will be tallied here on my Artistic Artifacts blog as well as on The Printed Fabric Bee blog.

March Printed Fabric Bee prize: wooden printing block, textile paint and foam printing mat

Leave a comment below to be eligible for this block printing prize!

NOTE: Prize has been awarded. My prize package is pictured above: a gorgeous circle design wooden printing block, a foam printing mat, and a jar of PROfab Opaque Textile Paint in the color True Blue.

BUT, if you live near Artistic Artifacts, or are willing to travel to us, you instead have the option to attend my Woodblock Printed Art Quilt class on June 11 for free if you prefer!

The winner will be drawn and notified on Tuesday, April 5th. Good luck to everyone! I’ve enjoyed sharing my wooden printing blocks enthusiasm with you all.

Leaf block printed quilt detail, free motion stitching

Creating and Embellishing Block Printed Textiles

Posts in Judy’s March Artist for The Printed Fabric Bee series:

  1. Block Printing Intro
  2. Creating and Embellishing Block Printed Textiles
  3. A Sampling of Block Printed Art Quilts

The focus of my March blog postings for The Printed Fabric Bee are on Block Printing for art quilts and other fiber projects, and I’m including the same posts here on the Artistic Artifacts blog.

Moving beyond my basic demonstration using cotton fabric and textile paint included in my last post, I’m showing additional possibilities for producing surface design textiles using wooden printing blocks, as well as how to embellish them.

Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution block printing on silk

Silk is a beautiful fabric to block print on. Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution (pictured printing above) was featured in the 2014 issue of Quilting Arts Holiday with a silk scarf printing tutorial. View her gorgeous results below.

Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution's block printed silk scarves

Another textile to block print onto is Lutradur. Lutradur is a a spun-bond synthetic material…somewhat like a cross between paper and fabric. Below, I printed snowflakes onto Lutradur to use as a dimensional element for a quilt and used a heat tool to cut them out (learn more).

Block printing on Lutradur
using Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads by Tsukineko for block printing

Instead of using textile paint, I have also had great results using Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads by Tsukineko. Memento Luxe is a fade-resistant ink that can be used on any porous surface: paper, fabric, wood, leather and more. It’s permanent on fabric when heat set, and the color remains even after repeated washings.

Plus, because these Memento Luxe inks are thick and stay wet for a time, I was able to experiment with adding embossing powders for texture (another example below using Metallic Embossing Powder in gold).

Embellishing block printed fabric with embossing powder

Visit my past posting/tutorial with more on using Memento Luxe and embossing powders with wooden printing blocks.

Also by Liz Kettle, the mermaid featured on the cover of this amazing fabric collage journal pictured belowl was block printed onto white leather using Memento Luxe ink. (The block is WB219 Mermaid with Star; it’s currently out of stock but email me and I will put you on the wait list for the next shipment, hand-carved from India!)

Mermaid journal by Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution

The below sample illustrates a fun embellishing option. I used the WB110 Leaves and Stems block, (full of cool funky details), and then began filling in the pattern using several options more traditionally suited to paper arts.

Using various pens to color block printed fabric

From the top, I used, Derwent Inktense Watersoluble Ink Pencils, Stamper’s Big Brush Pens (by Faber-Castell; these pens contain permanent India Ink) and Gelly Roll Moonlight Pens. I can definitely see further embellishing and fussy cutting pieces of this fabric to use in an art quilt. (Note, I ironed this fabric to heat set the products.)

Also from the paper arts world, we have experimented with using Gelatos on our wooden printing blocks. My colleague Sharon McDonagh is well-known for her love of Gelatos around here, and was the first to give this a try. As she wrote, “Rather than risk it with Judy’s extensive stash, I first tried this with my own block, a mermaid….I realized that with the Gelatos’s stick form and thick consistency, I could color areas of the block selectively. Painting selectively is hard to do when using textile or acrylic paint on your block, as by the time you get to one area, the paint is drying up elsewhere.” She originally experimented on paper (below the print is the wooden printing block used to create it).

Using Gelatos on wooden printing blocks--print by Sharon McDonagh

We have since printed on a variety of fabrics. Below, a mermaid block print by Beth Richardson using Gelatos on Roc-lon® Roc-rol™ Multi-Purpose Cloth™. Visit our past posting Exploring the Possibilities of Gelatos: Part 2, which gives you a lot more information about using Gelatos with wooden printing blocks.

Block printed mermaid by Beth Richardson

So as seen here, you can block print onto a variety of surfaces, and use a variety of paints and colorants. Embellishing your printed textile just continues your fun!

Block printed fabric accented with hand-stitching by Judy Gula

I love stitching, so when thinking about adding to a block print, the go-to choice for me is to hand stitch the motif. Using Modern Hand Stitching by Ruth Chandler for my inspiration, one of the birds (printed with a WB213 Primitive Peacock block) in my fabric above was stitched with Tentakulum Handpainted Fibers directly following the design. In the detail photo below, you can see that I couched Tentakulum Gimpe as an outline and then filled in with various stitches using Tentakulum’s cotton 6 strand floss (Mouline) Embroidery Floss.

Detail, Block printed fabric accented with hand-stitching by Judy Gula

Visit my past posting for more on block printing and hand stitching, including how I prepare my block printed fabric for stitching. For those of you out there who love to free motion quilt, how about using your sewing machine to add stitching?

Beading a block printed motif by Judy Gula

Another beautiful way to embellish your block prints is with beading. (I printed this using the WB332 Spoked Geometric Circle block.) Use the motif to guide your beading, as you can see in the close-up photo above, or bead your own complementary design!

By the way, in my opinion the best beading reference book out there is First-Time Beading on Fabric by Liz Kettle. Don’t let that title fool you: this book is an ideal resource for everyone interested in beading on fabric.

Hand-stitched block printed  fabric by Judy Gula

We’d love to see how you use your wooden printing blocks and embellish your printed fabric! We welcome your postings with photos either on the Artistic Artifcacts Facebook page or on The Printed Fabric Bee Facebook page.

My final post next week will show you some of my finished quilts that feature block prints!

Leave Your Comment to Enter Our Random Prize Drawing!

NOTE: Prize has been awarded. My prize package will go to one lucky U.S.-based winner randomly drawn from those who have commented on my March block printing postings (whether here on my Artistic Artifacts blog or at The Printed Fabric Bee blog. I have gathered a gorgeous circle design wooden printing block, a foam printing mat (this work surface is essential to get the best printing results), and a jar of PROfab Opaque Textile Paint in the color True Blue as my prize.

But if you are local to the Virginia/DC/Maryland area (or are willing to travel) and your name is selected, you can instead choose to attend my Woodblock Printed Art Quilt class on June 11 for free!

March Printed Fabric Bee prize: wooden printing block, textile paint and foam printing mat

Leave a comment below to be eligible for this block printing prize!

Block Printing as the March Artist for The Printed Fabric Bee!

Posts in Judy’s March Artist for The Printed Fabric Bee series:

  1. Block Printing Intro
  2. Creating and Embellishing Block Printed Textiles
  3. A Sampling of Block Printed Art Quilts

Earlier this year I directed you to the “reboot” of The Printed Fabric Bee where, instead of creating monthly themed fabrics for the Bee members (with 6″ x 6″ swatches as a prize for those who commented on the posts), in 2016 members of the Bee are each taking a turn hosting a month focusing on a technique of their choice — resulting a year of free tutorials and classes from national and internationally known surface design artists and teachers!

I wrote then that you should mark your calendar for April for me, but turns out, I am representing the month of March! The focus of my posts for The Printed Fabric Bee will be on Block Printing for art quilts and other fiber projects. My first post is copied below:
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A wooden printing block being hand-carved by a master craftsman in India

Block printing is one of the most ancient forms of decorative art. We carry a very wide range of wooden printing blocks in our shop. These blocks are hand carved in India and are part of our free trade products: we are proud to be a part of the support of 40 families in India!

For my first post, I’m including a video below that was taped while I was running my on-site “pop-up” shop at the recent Art & Soul creative retreat in Portland, Oregon. The video begins with me answering a question from my audience: where do wooden printing blocks come from?, and then moves into the basics of how to block print.

While traveling around the US vending at shows and teaching, I hear many of the same questions over and over, so I am using this opportunity, below and in the video, to briefly answer the most common ones.

  1. What type of wood is used?
    The wooden printing blocks are carved out of shisham wood, which is a locally grown, sustainable hard wood.
  2. Will the white paint come off?
    The white marking is there to give the carvers, or as they prefer, Block Makers, visual guidance as to where to chisel and carve the wood away.
  3. How do I care for wooden printing blocks?
    Do scrub them with soap and water once your printing session is over. Use a soft nail brush if necessary to get paint out of the fine lines. However, don’t let your blocks soak in the sink or a container water. I dry them face down on a dry towel.
           Know this: they will never be ‘clean’ again — embrace that! (We find them beautiful with the hints of paint and use; see photo below.)
  4. How can I use them?
    … well, the answer to that is for the next blog post!

Wooden printing blocks that have been used multiple times

Wooden printing blocks that have been used many times with many colors of paint have their own special beauty.

My next blog post will give you a few ideas of how to embellish your block printed fabric.

Comment to Win!

NOTE: Prize has been awarded. In addition to the surface design tutorials posted here on The Printed Fabric Bee blog, each month, the specified artist offers a fabulous giveaway. Simply leave a comment on at least one of the blog posts during that month to be eligible. I have selected a beautiful circle design wooden printing block, an orange foam printing mat (critical to successful block printing), and a jar of True Blue PROfab Opaque Textile Paint as my prize. However…if you are selected and are local to the Virginia/DC/Maryland area (or are willing to travel), you can instead choose to attend my Woodblock Printed Art Quilt class on June 11 for free!

March Printed Fabric Bee prize: wooden printing block, textile paint and foam printing mat

Leave a comment below to be eligible for this block printing prize!

P.S. If you would like to travel to India and meet the families who carve our wooden printing blocks, visit the Colouricious website in England to learn about the Textile Trip of a Lifetime!

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