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Our Final Row by Row Color/Design Variation

Artistic Artifacts Red Row by Row Experience Design

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.)

Cover-a-Card rubber stamp and Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads

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!

Applying Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink to the Cover-a-Card rubber stamp

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.

Using the Mega Mount and Cover-a-Card stamp

The base of the Mega Mount Acrylic Block is slightly curved so that even the largest stamp only contacts the paper one section at a time, requiring less pressure and resulting in clean, even impressions.

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.

Completed stamped background

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.

Paisley block stamped in red

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).

Another paisley block stamped in shades of red

Using a True Red, I applied paint to the wooden printing block with sponge, and then stamped.

Using shades of red, including pink, purple and even a bit of blue adds visual interest to the background

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.

Red fabrics from kit and scraps from stash for free-form piecing

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…

More red fabrics from kit and scraps from stash for free-form piecing

To the below freeform pieced width of fabric. Then I cut my Row by Row strips from this larger pieced work.

Red freeform pieced fabric

Below is the final row assembled.

Completed Red Row by Row from Artistic Artifacts pattern

Click photo for a larger view.

Making a Pattern Your Own

Artistic Artifacts and the Row By Row Experience: Congratulations Jana Franklin!

This summer Artistic Artifacts has been participating in the Row by Row Experience, a shop hop event, and it has been a lot of fun to design our unique row, select fabrics for the kits we are selling, and most of all, meeting both old and new friends as they embark on their shopping expeditions.

Jana Franklin holding her prize-winning quiltEach participating shop agreed to make a prize of 25 fat quarters of fabric available to the first person who turned in a completed (quilted, bound, and labeled) quilt using at least 8 different 2014 row patterns. Yesterday (Tuesday, August 5) we were delighted to welcome Jana Franklin to the shop and award her our prize, with a bonus gift certificate prize for using our row in her quilt!

Jana collected eight different row patterns from eight shops, all in the Northern Virginia area. A member of the Burke Chapter of Quilter’s Unlimited (that’s my chapter too!), Jana put these disparate rows together beautifully, creating an wonderful springtime quilt. And she has very kindly allowed us to keep it on loan for display, so please stop by the shop to see it — the photographs we have here are not doing it justice! Click the photo below to see a larger view.

Jana Franklin's prize-winning Row by Row Experience quilt

One of the things we appreciate about Jana’s quilt is how she made the patterns her own. While there is of course nothing wrong with following directions and kits to the letter, from my own standpoint as a shop owner and a teacher, it is important to encourage artists (and yes, you all ARE artists) to put their own spin on a project or technique.

Her row patterns are from the following shops:

Top row: The Quilt Patch in Fairfax, “The Book Shelf.” How she made it her own:
Jana added spine titles that reference local areas and topics of interest.

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

2nd Row, The Quilters Studio in Fairfax, “Spring Cardinal Row.” How she made it her own: She used large round beads, instead of buttons, to create her berries, and gave her cardinal a strong button eye.

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

3rd Row: Our own “Springtime Flora and Fauna.” How she made it her own: Jana selected the butterfly wooden printing block, which I had combined with orange fabric, and chose to work instead with our purple fabric kit (which I had designed with birds). Jana didn’t use the Thermofax screens but instead computer transferred springtime poetry and text onto the provided white muslin, then block printed her butterflies in a variety of pretty pastels. So springtime!

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

4th Row:Old Town Needlecraftsin Manassas, “Summer Hummers.” The shop created three versions of their pattern: one pieced, one for machine embroiderers and one fussy-cut using Benartex Fabrics Glorious Hummingbirds, which is what Jana used.

5th Row: Suzzie’s Quilt Shop in Manassas, “Spring is Here!!!” How she made it her own: She switched the dimensional flower style the kit offered, and also added her own appliqué cardinal sitting on the branch, to tie in with the Virginia state bird and the other portions of her quilt.

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

6th Row: Circle Sewing Studios in Woodbridge, “Dancing Pineapples.”

Left border: Bonnie’s Sewing & Fabric in Alexandria “Amber Waves of Grain.” How she made it her own: Jana used red and cream fabric to match the rest of her quilt, and made extra blocks to elongate the row to serve as a vertical border.

Right border: Aurora Quilts in Manassas, “X-mas Block.” How she made it her own: Elongating the row to serve as a vertical border, and we suspect that she chose her own fabrics for this row, as the cardinal fabric in it is the same as the fabric used in the Circle Sewing Studios’ “Dancing Pineapples.”

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

(By the way, Jana’s piecing and craftmanship is straight and true throughout…our photos can make some seams and joins look a bit off because her quilt was so large we had to hang it to get a full size photo, and there’s a bit of bowing from the hang).

As you know from previous postings, I was inspired by Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts: a Stress-Free Journey to Original Design by Rayna Gillman to piece our row. The thermofax screens “art” and “stitch” that I used are just two of the amazing designs created by the talented women of PG Fiber2Art, Susan Price and Elizabeth Gibson. We’ve enjoyed explaining how to use the screens to Row by Row shoppers, and some have selected other designs to use…that “make the pattern your own” thing again! (But if you prefer to learn in a class environment, (plus have the opportunity to print with a huge selection of their designs) then join us on Saturday, September 27.)

Here’s Susan’s take on our pattern (this is a portion only, so you can see it better):

Detail, Susan Price's Artistic Artifacts row

Visit her blog and click on the photo she has of her row to enjoy a complete, and larger view!

And here’s Elizabeth’s:

Detail, Elizabeth Gibson's Artistic Artifacts row

Click the photo for a full view of her row! She used the PG Fiber2Art “craft” screen, graphic rectangles screen and overprinted with the fish wooden printing block. Her colorful batiks are from India (and her stash).

Elizabeth also made an additional piece of fabric for her mother Barbara to use when making her version of our row. Elizabeth first used a green spray paint on a yellow background, then screened her “craft” definition and a butterfly screen the PG Fiber2Art team recently made.

Elizabeth Gibson's screened fabric

Isn’t is amazing how different the pattern can look…and how beautiful ALL of the surface design variations are?

We have been asking all our Row by Row customers to send us photos of their row, their quilt, their designs. Please do email us … we can’t wait to see —and share!

Plus, even though we have awarded the official Row by Row prize, I have a surprise for you. Anyone who brings their Artistic Artifacts row into the shop to show us, whether in a full quilt or finished as a table runner or wall hanging (or even just sewn together!) will get a small prize from me for playing along. As per the official Row by Row rules, you have until October 31, 2014 to bring in your handiwork from our pattern!

Jana Franklin with her prize of 25 fat quarters and a gift certificate from Artistic Artifacts

Jana Franklin holding her Row by Row Experience prize of 25 fat quarters and a gift certificate from Artistic Artifacts

More than 1,250 quilt shops are involved in Row by Row Experience this year, each creating their own unique pattern for a row so that you can create your own Sew a Season quilt. Each shop chose one of the four seasons to represent in their row. Visit a participating store from now until September 2 to ask for your free pattern. The Row by Row website has completes lists and addresses of participating shops in 34 US states and Ontario, so you can map out your summer trips to visit as many participating quilt shops as possible.

There are still shops out there who haven’t awarded their prize yet, so all of you keep on quilting! Use any pattern to layout your rows: Stack them, arrange around a center medallion, make them horizontal, vertical (like Jana did), upside down, on the front, on the back, whatever! You are the designer….be creative and have fun!

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