This summer’s Row by Row Experience shop hop has been so enjoyable for those of us at Artistic Artifacts! We have met so many people, both local and many from out of state and Canada, who have visited us to pick up our free pattern.
We created four different fabric colorways and have previously posted photos of three: the orange and blue kits were completed with Thermofax screen printing and hand stamped with our wooden printing blocks. For the green sample, we added a monoprinted background created using a gel printing plate.
In this posting I am finally featuring the fourth colorway, red. I am actually happy that we waited to complete this sample, because it has allowed us to respond to some customer discussions we have had in the store.
We have been delighted with the customers with no previous experience who embraced trying something new; many are experimenting with block printing and screen printing with the Thermofax screens we used. But there were also people who hestitated over those techniques, so we have continually brainstormed options for the background: use rubber stamps or stencils that you already own. Or purchase fabric that has words on it, such as Tim Holtz designs. Or thread paint, or hand-stitch a design. Or do no surface design at all and replace the white fabric with another of your choosing. The winner of our fabric prize, Jana Franklin, used her computer to print springtime poems and facts onto her white muslin, and then stamped with wooden printing blocks over that. What was important to us at Artistic Artifacts was that you made this row your own.
For this red Sample I used a rubber stamp and Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads to stamp the background before adding block printing. (I have previously blogged about using Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads in block printing, so take a look.)
The stamp pictured above is the French Text Cover-a-Card Stamp. The Cover-a-Card company makes the Mega Mount Acrylic Block for use with these 5¾" square rubber stamps…it sure makes the stamping process easier than manhandling a non-mounted stamp! Pictured are three colors of ink pad… yes I did use all three! Notice the yellow foam printing mat. Every tool box needs one!
As you can see above, the stamp pad is much smaller than the stamp, so I turn the stamp facing up and apply the ink pad to the stamp, rather than applying the stamp to the ink pad. Much better coverage.
In the above photo you can see the Mega Mount acrylic handle. It is curved so that I “roll” the stamp onto the fabric. I will continue to turn the stamp every which way, because I am creating a background texture…I’m not creating text that is meant to be readable.
I stamp the whole background. Once the Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink is dry, I ironed the fabric, which eat set the ink for permanence and washability.
My previous row designs have been recognizable animals and leaves — the “flora and fauna” of spring. I wanted to do something a bit more abstract for this red colorway, while keeping with the spring theme. We have a large number of paisley designs of wooden printing blocks, and they are such a favorite of mine! You can see that the ones I have chosen have a floral/leaf look to them, so I think it works well with our other rows.
With my previous Row by Row samples, I used Opaque Artistic Artifacts Textile Paints for the block printing. In keeping with the idea of working differently, for this sample I also used my other favorite textile paint from Stewart Gill (sadly no longer available).
Using a True Red, I applied paint to the wooden printing block with sponge, and then stamped.
While I used a lot of red, I also added some blue and purple into the mix. Mixing different shades of red, including pink and purple, adds visual interest to the background and keeps the design from looking too static.
The next step is to create my strip piecing. Here’s the link to my previous freeform strip piecing tutorial. In addition to the Combanasi and commercial batiks that are included in each fabric kit, our row pattern instructs you to pull coordinating fabrics from your stash. So I went from these pictured piles of fabrics and strips…
To the below freeform pieced width of fabric. Then I cut my Row by Row strips from this larger pieced work.
Below is the final row assembled.
Click photo for a larger view.