Fragment Doll Raffle Benefitting India

TAP Fragment Dolls created by Artistic Artifacts that are being raffled off to benefit India

As previously shared here, the Fragment Dolls project in The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley inspired us to create these fun fabric dolls with Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) faces. You can now purchase your chance to win your choice, with 100% of our proceeds going to support our artisans in India struggling to survive the severe Covid-19 pandemic impacts.

Plea from India to support artisans who carve wooden printing blocks

The more chances you buy, the greater your chance to win! Please share this opportunity to own an art doll while contributing to a great cause. Our six winners will be randomly selected from entrants for each Fragment doll, and winners will be announced during our Facebook Live presentation on Saturday morning, July 10.

As I shared in our video reintroducing you to our finished dolls, and showing our new kits so you can make your own, the entire country of India is really suffering right now. The products we import help support many artisans whose livelihood has been severely impacted due to the pandemic and current crisis in their country. We are in contact with our distributors there, and our orders are helping them purchase food and necessities — even oxygen cylinders to save Covid-stricken family and community members! In addition to our raffle tickets, your orders of hand carved wooden printing blocks, handmade block printed fabrics, and handmade paper boxes and 100% cotton rag sheets create the demand that allows us to order restocking shipments from India, in turn employing these talented artisans.

Judy Gula Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Pictured above, Sheba was my first doll — purchase your chance to win her!

Judy Gula Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Jane was in progress when we last posted here, and I enjoyed completing her. Purchase your chance to win Jane!

Chris Vinh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Above, Chris Vinh of StitchesnQuilts created Wanita (which is Indonesian for woman). Purchase your chance to win Wanita!

Chris Vinh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Painter’s Muse is Chris’ second doll. Purchase your chance to win Painter’s Muse!

Sharon McDonagh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Sharon McDonagh created a mermaid inspired doll. Purchase your chance to win Ocean Goddess!

Sharon McDonagh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Sharon’s Soleil was her second doll. Purchase your chance to win Soleil!

Our new Fragment Doll Kits let you join in the fun and create your own! Each color-themed kit includes a sheet of Transfer Artist Paper (preprinted with faces), muslin, a variety of handpainted and/or hand dyed fabrics pieces, embellishing fabric such as hand dyed linens and trims, leaf vine ribbon, a scattering of beads and vintage buttons… and more!

Visit our YouTube channel for my video as I introduced these kits and reintroduced you to our dolls, sharing how desperate the need is in India and how grateful they are for the support from us.hank you for purchasing your chances and helping us support our global partners in India! You can also to learn more about TAP, Lesley’s book and how we created these Fragment Dolls in our previous Fragment Doll video.

Block printed fabrics available from Artistic Artifacts and photos of the intensive hand process by artisans in India.

Encouraging Fiber Arts in the Next Generation

Girl Scout Troop #776 volunteers for the Fun with Fabric project

Girl Scout Troop #776 volunteers for the Fun with Fabric project. Organizer Celia Middleton is standing, top row, left.

My niece Celia Middleton from Girl Scout Troop #776 recently organized a free* quilting educational activity for her Girl Scout Silver Award, and I was proud to support her as a sponsor!

Celia’s Fun with Fabric – Make Your Own Mini Quilt activity took place on Sunday, May 31 at the 42nd Annual Quilter’s Unlimited Quilt Show in Chantilly, VA.

She developed this project so that participants began with creating a stamped fabric with wooden printing blocks, added batting and backing and then completed the “quiltlet” by hand stitching, which kept the three layers together. These little pieces of fiber art thus illustrated what a quilt is. This event was open to all ages, and all ages participated!

Instructions and illustrations created by Celia Middleton for her Fun with Fabric project

Celia had to organize and administer this project on her own, including documenting her hours of work related to the project, to begin achieving the levels needed to qualify for her Silver Award.

Advance work included an initial meeting with a quilt show representative, lots of practice of the techniques needed so that the steps could be taught, creating samples for display, developing signage and information/illustration boards (pictured above), preparing the supplies of fabric, batting, needles and thread (donated by Artistic Artifacts) and training her helpers, which included her younger sister, Layla.

Learning to block print

Learning to print with wooden printing blocks

Fun with Fabric at the Quilters Unlimited 2015 Quilt Show

A young show visitor displays her finished quiltlet

The pride of learning new creative skills shows as this young participant displays her finished quiltlet.

In addition to this educational activity, Celia is planning to make quilts and donate them to charity as part of her Silver Award project. She asked participants to donate wood block printed squares to be used in these quilts that she will sew. Celia also hosted a fundraiser for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital SHARE program. The SHARE (Share Her Annual Real Expenses) program helps pay for membership fees, camp and other Girl Scout activities. Celia collected $20 in donations from workshop participants and is planning to continue collecting donations for this worthwhile cause!

Ellen West and her committee co-chair Carla Lounsbury of the Annandale chapter of Quilter’s Unlimited were our quilt show liaisons and created a great space for the project. I hope you enjoy the photographs included here of the girls in action. I know they enjoyed welcoming many participants and teaching them the joys of quilting!

Girl Scout volunteers teaching hand stitching

The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who arrived wearing their uniforms on that Sunday were admitted to the show at no charge. We hope that the quilt show admin will consider allowing the Scouts in uniform free for all 3 days of the show. It is so important to encourage a love of traditional arts such as quilting in the next generation, and demonstrations like Celia’s and programs such as free or reduced admission to shows and events are steps to achieving that goal.

Girl Scout volunteers block printing

Girl Scout volunteers block printing. That's the Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal booth in the background. I had a birds-eye view of the action in the demonstration area!

All ages enjoyed the Fun with Fabric project

* Donations were accepted for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital SHARE family giving campaign.

Show and Tell with Artistic Artifacts

One of the greatest benefits of what we do at Artistic Artifacts is being the recipient of Show and Tell sessions, whether in the shop or via email! Here is our latest, received from Margret Lehnert, who lives in Venice, Florida:

Hi Judy, finally got the Australian Quilt done and wanted to send you pictures of it. You wanted to see the end result. I also refinished all my pillowcases to match the quilt. It all goes well with the leather sofa and chairs.

The quilt pattern is the simple “Yellow Brick Road” Pattern, which has been around for a while. Also used bamboo batting to make it nice and soft.

Love the fabrics and have enough left to make a table runner!


Yellow Brick Road with Australian Fabrics

Quilt and Pillows on leather Sofa


Also, we held a fun tag class on Saturday, June 14, Words of Wisdom: a Little Book of Design Inspiration with Diane Herbort. Ann Douglas was one of the students enjoying the day. Her beautiful granddaugher was unable to join us in the class, but afterwards enjoyed a craft day with Grandma!

Ann Douglas' Grand Daughter creating Tag Art


On June 12 we hosted our monthly “How Do I Use This?” product demonstration and hands-on play. The subject this month was using DeColourant and DeColourant Plus. These products work on dyed natural fabrics, such as cotton, rayon, or linen, as well as on many papers.

Decolourant wooden block printed on handmade black paper

We stamped and applied deColourant (removes color) and deColourant Plus (no longer available, it removed color while adding a new color pigment) on fabric swatches and on handmade paper. I have used DeColorant on fabric many times, but I had never tried it on handmade paper.

De Colourant, paper, foam mat

As you will see we all made use of my favorite tools, wooden printing blocks to create surface designs! So I’ll begin with a quick review of how to print using wooden blocks:

Pour a small amount of deColourant onto a plate or pallette, then use a sponge apply it to the wooden printing block. Place your paper or fabric on a foam printing mat, then press the wooden printing block firmly onto the surface to transfer the deColourant.  

Results of DeColourant on Fabric

I did find that the sponge did not work as well with deColourant as it does with Fabric Paint. We tried a fan brush during our class and got better results.

After the deColourant is dry, iron with a hot (cotton setting) steam iron to active the discharge. Heat is necessary to activate the deColourant, and the more heat, the more color is removed, so ironing, with steam, seems to give the best results. (The manufacturer notes that you can use a heat gun, or even lay your fabric or paper out in the sun.)

Results of deColourant on Handmade Paper

Using deColourant, you will find that some dye colors discharge to lighter versions of the original color (like a pale pink from red), some turn to a different color entirely (black fabric and paper is known for this surprise; you can see it discharge to white, or to light oranges, greens and more), and some don’t discharge much at all. Similarly, the amount of color added by using the deColurant Plus can vary. You have to test and experiment!

One of the great features of these products is that they don’t change your fabric or papers in any way: the “hand” of your surface remains unchanged.

Tags using my stamped Handmade paper

deColourant works exclusively on the color dyes that are in the fabric and paper, removing in an easy, one-step process.

As I had noted, I hadn’t previously tried deColourant on paper, so the results of that were fun to see!

Join us for next month’s “How Do I Use This?” session on Thursday, July 10, 6:30 – 8:30 pm — we will be experimenting with Gelatos!

Some additional photographic inspiration from our session:

One side of the Table

Theresa assembling her Tags

Judy Albert Turning stamping into Magic

Bubble Wrap will go down in History as the best stamp ever!

Robin's Egg Blue deColourant Plus

Barb's Tags

Wooden Printing Blocks and Modern Hand Stitching

When printing with wooden print blocks, it is one of those tasks that is better done without an end result in mind… at least that is how I feel. Just enjoy creating fabric, stamping patterns and have fun!

Wood Block Printed Owl

I printed two pieces of fabric with wooden printing blocks, which are hand carved in India, using PROFab Opaque Textile Paint. The first bird is stamped on plain white muslin, while the owl has been printed on a watercolor batik. Inspired by Ruth Chandler’s wonderful book, Modern Hand Stitching I decided to stitch over my block printing with Tentakulum Painter’s Thread.

In preparation for hand-stitching, I took the fabric, applied Mistyfuse to the back, and attached it to a light weight flannel or Osnaburg. The Mistyfuse prevents bearding of the quilt batting, while the thin flannel keeps the quilt thin. The completed stitched block can be layered over quilt batting and backing to finish.

Above, Block Printed Birds. below, Block Printed Owls

My idea is to use different stitches and Tentakulum threads on each owl.  But those honeycomb owl bodies scream cross stitches!

Wood Block Printing Bird Layout

Close up of the Hand Stitched Bird. One completed, two to go. I will probably leave one bird as a printed/stamped image only.

Wooden Block Printed Bird embellished with Hand Stitching

Wood Block Printed Owl Embellished with Hand Stitching

As you can see, these stitching experiments are still a work in progress. But I am enjoying working on them, and I think that the end result will be that these fine-feathered fowls will find their way into art quilts!

For the next inspiration, look at your fabrics monoprinted with your Gelli Arts™ Gel Printing Plate and those surface designed with stencils, such as the example shown at the end of this post.  Do the shapes and colors inspire you to pick up some thread and begin stitching?




Memento Ink Pads + Wooden Printing Blocks = Fun!

I’ve stated this many times so far in this blog, and here is it again: I am a fabric girl. I am continuing to learn about using paper, and enjoy it, but fabric is my go-to medium.

So with that being said, I am pretty fearless using products on fabric that aren’t meant to be used on fabric. But I will I jump right on it when a manufacturer takes care of the testing for me, and states up front that its product is FOR use on fabric! That is the case with Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads (see more about them at the end of this post).

Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads are made by Tsukineko, which the first manufacturer that I knew of that created inks that were permanent on fabric when heat set. At that time they came in a marker form. Now we have ink pads!

Next enter wooden printing blocks — limitless fun in pattern form! My current stash of various types of ink pads had never worked with wooden printing blocks: the wood sucked up the ink too quickly, leaving either nothing to be transfered to the fabric, or such a faint and uneven print that it wasn’t suitable. A friend suggested that I try Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink Pads with my wooden printing blocks and it works beautifully!

I was thrilled with the results of just ink on fabric. But because these inks are very “juicy” I was able to add embossing powders for texture. (Told you, I’m all about using non-fabric products on fabric.) I’m hooked!

I had some Postcards fabric collaged and ready to go.

Below are some results of my testing:

Apply the ink to the wooden printing block

From Top down Wooden printing Block, fabric postcard, foam mat

Applied Black Gesso (Instead of white) to postcard creating an oval

stamped with memento, covered with embossing Powder, add heat

A New Postcard!

Using Clear Embossing Powder, UTEE

The Memento Luxe Mixed Media Ink and embossing powder is very cool, but what if I want to keep the color of the ink? Enter clear embossing powder — I used Melt Art Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (which is also available in five colors).

Samples of Postcards with Memento Inks and Embossing Powder Finish

This idea would of course show up better if the fabric was a solid or very small print… but you know me, I like to collage my postcards…

Below is a swatch print of my new favorite paisley wooden printing blocks. Each of the three prints began with white Memento Luxe Mixed Media ink: left is the print alone, center is topped with Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Powders in Fired Brick (these are a little softer in color and texture; after you apply and emboss with your heat gun, you rub the embossed element, which releases special crystals to give you a textured, worn and weathered look) and right is topped with Metallic Embossing Powder in gold.

Test swatch, inks and embossing powders on fabric

Memento Luxe Facts from Tsukineko Inks:

  • Mixed media ink can be used on any porous surface: paper, fabric, wood, leather and more.
  • Permanent on fabric when heat set and will remain vibrant on textiles even after repeated washings
  • Available in 24 vibrant colors
  • Great ink for paper projects as well as mixed media
  • Highly fade-resistant ink
  • Relatively fast drying for a pigment ink
  • NOTE: prize has been awarded So, a bit of a challenge for you: try out this technique to create your own fabric (or paper/cardstock) postcard. Mail it by June 14, 2014 to me and your name will be entered into a drawing for a Wooden Printing Block! My choice, your sweet surprise!

    Mail your finished postcard to :

    Judy Gula
    Artistic Artifacts
    4750 Eisenhower Avenue
    Alexandria, VA 22304