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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:
___________

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!

The Printed Fabric Bee Begins Anew in 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.

Guest Blogger Lisa Chin Visits Artistic Artifacts

In September the talented textile artist Lisa Chin, a fellow member of the Printed Fabric Bee, visited Artistic Artifacts for the first time. She wrote the nicest blog post about her visit — and she is serving as as a guest blogger and letting us reprint it for us below! I love the beautiful photographs she took — thank you Lisa! (With the gorgeous fall color we’re experiencing, take a look at her website’s tutorial Gelli Plate Printing with Leaves and create a permanent memory!)


A Tour of Artistic Artifacts Brick and Mortar Store, Alexandria VA

by guest blogger Lisa Chin

[Recently] while I was in DC, I stopped at Artistic Artifacts. Artistic Artifacts is a quilt/mixed media shop and it was HEAVENLY! I got there a little late in the day and really didn’t have the time to inspect everything closely. I know I will be returning when I am in the DC area. Let me give you a little tour of the shop:

Panorama shot from the front of the shop.

Beautiful batiks.

Gorgeous papers.

I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t buy some of Seth Apter’s stamps.

I don’t know if the sewing machines are for sale or just for show but I LOVE them!

Lots and lots of beautiful paints.

I bought a nice selection to try out.

These cigar boxes remind me of my grandfather.

Folding yardsticks!

Lovely vintage photos to include in your art work.

LOTS and LOTS of Tjaps for batiking or enjoying.


And a great big wall of stencils.

And this is just a small part of the shop. I didn’t take photos of the wall of beautiful fabrics, the racks of vintage papers, game pieces, game boards, threads, dyed linens and so much more!

If you are ever in the DC area make sure you make time to travel the short distance to Alexandria and see Artistic Artifacts. If you don’t have a car, you can take the Blue line on the Metro to the Van Dorn St. stop and walk the 3/4 of a mile down Eisenhower Avenue to the shop, which is what I did!

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