I have posted previously several times about the Printed Fabric Bee, a collaboration of professional textiles artists printing fabric collections for each other. It was finally MY turn to pick a theme!
For a short period in my life I was certified scuba diver. To me it was only fun in crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, so I selected Caribbean Ocean as my theme. I allowed my fellow Bee members to pick the colors they were inspired to use in keeping with the theme, and have been delighted with what’s arrived.
But remember, while every Queen Bee has received her own collection of custom-made fabric, anyone has the opportunity to win a 6 × 6 swatch collection too! It’s easy to win: simply leave a comment below or on the Printed Fabric Bee blog and you will be entered. I will be randomly selecting a winner on Thursday, October 15. Don’t miss this opportunity for a set of one of a kind fabrics!
Julie B. Booth has a step by step tutorial on her blog detailing how she printed her fabric (above). She wrote, “Well…you can probably see that the ‘ocean’ part of the theme seemed to slip my mind…only the ‘Caribbean’ part seemed to register.” She wondered if I would be disappointed, but of course I love tit!
Athough everyone works separately and doesn’t consult with on another, like minds can seize on a similar idea: Deborah Boschert’s fabric also features tropical blooms:
Isn’t it pretty?
Geri Congdon used an old wooden printing block to create the background for her fabric, pictured above, and then added thermofax screened and foiled fish. (I wouldn’t mind having that block in my collection!)
Above is Carol Eaton’s submission. She wrote that she “tried to capture the ebb and flow of the tides as they perpetually move.” Gorgeous!
Above is Lynda Heines submission in progress. She also posted steps and information about how she created this beautiful fabric.
For my own Carribean Ocean printed fabric, I began with a long piece of fabric, 13" x 27", to allow me multiple prints using a 8" x 10" Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate. Adding paint directly to the Gelli plate and mixing as I use the brayer allows me to see the individual colors. You must watch that there is not too much or too little paint, but just right amount… that does take some practice.
Using WB315 Tangled Vines wooden printing block, which has a coral-like shape and also looks like seaweed, I stamped into the paint covered Gelli plate (below) to remove the color. I think stamping off the side of the plate adds interest.
Of course, you never let paint go to waste! I stamped my paint covered wood block onto scrap fabric swatches (photo right). They will make their way into some future project, I’m sure.
Once the plate was covered and had the block print texturzied in, I laid my fabric over it and rubbed it with my hands and a clean brayer to transfer the print.
I repeated this process three times for the final strip of fabric. I purposefully didn’t clean the plate or brayer in between prints… I just let the colors work together from right to left:
Thinking I could improve upon my layout and color choices, I stamped another:
I like the second one much better. Better colors and more pattern!
The full list of Printed Fabric Bee participant links is below, so please visit their websites and blogs to learn more. Some of the artists are in “coming soon” mode (which is usually where I was with the deadlines), so please keep checking!
With these beauties, I can just visualize hanging out at the beach in St Kitts! Remember, leave comment below, or at Printed Fabric Bee blog before October 16 for your chance to win your own set of these Carribean Ocean fabric swatches!
- Julie B. Booth
- Deborah Boschert
- Lisa Chin (fabric not in yet, but she created the nicest blog post about my shop recently!)
- Gerrie Congdon
- Jane Davila
- Carol R. Eaton
- Lynda Heines
- Leslie Tucker Jenison
- Lynn Krawczyk
- Jackie Lams
- Susan Purney Mark
This is actually the last giveaway collection for The Printed Fabric Bee…but a new format is in the works to debut January 2016.