pillow talk

block carving

It was a long time ago that I carved this block to print an all over design on fabric.  Since then sewing projects took over my studio and left me no room to print.  Last week Barry had Veteran’s Day off and he helped me dig out of the mess and organize it– which left me with a clear drafting table and room to print fabric!

Add to that Pillow Week hosted over at House on Hill Road and I had a perfect use for my handprinted fabric.  Even though I didn’t get this photographed and blogged during Pillow Challenge Week, I did get it made.  That counts, right?  You should check out Erin’s pillow posts— there’s lots of information on closures and stuffing, and lovely pillows to look at.

new pillow

I printed on plain linen and am pretty happy with how it turned out.  My pattern matched up!

handprinted linen pillow

I’m wondering if I need to add something to my ink so it’s not quite so sticky next time and soaks into the fabric a little.  This went really fast, though.  I went from cutting and ironing my fabric to cleaning up my ink mess in less than an hour– printing 1/2 yard of fabric.

handprinted linen pillow, the striped side

I also made a simple striped stamp and printed a long 1/4 yd. of fabric, then cut it into triangles to make the other side.  There’s an invisible zipper in the bottom seam, so the pillow is totally reversible.

handprinted linen pillow, the flower side

I’m excited that my all over pattern repeated so well!  It’s fun when experiments work out.

the printed one

gocco dog on a new shirt

When I made this little batch of shirts for Hunter, Logan was insistent that he knew exactly what needed to be printed on this one, so I did what I could to make his vision a reality.  We got out my dusty gocco printer and the fabric inks, and just like that we were done.  It was one of those projects that made me wonder why I don’t do it more often– it was so quick and painless and made my Logan so happy and proud.

wearing it

one for logie

It is a rare thing to have something so potentially messy go so smoothly, but it sure is a happy day when things work out.  I think with a big brood of small people the more spontaneous projects are the ones that end the best.  For me, at least, when i plan and prepare I have way too much invested in the outcome to be adequately relaxed, patient and kind about the process.  Does this ring true for anyone else?  I need to somehow find a happy medium between the spontaneous and the planned so that there can be more happy collaboration between the kids and I.  How do you guys plan happy creative projects with your kids?

What I’ve been dreaming of…

fabric printing

Sometimes I get obsessed with a project and get it out in whirlwind fashion.  Actually, I think that’s how most things I make get done because with me it’s all or nothin’.  Once in a while, though, the idea has to germinate and get made in my head over and over and over again.  That’s how it’s been with printing fabric.  It was almost three years ago that I found an article in Better Homes and Gardens (while sitting in the orthodontist waiting room, I am SO glad I’m done with the whole braces thing) about Galbraith & Paul.  That’s when I knew that I absolutely needed to make block printed fabric of my own. I’ve been studying fabric designs I love, figuring out how to make design repeats, trying ideas with my gocco on paper, dreaming up the best ways to register prints next to each other.  It’s been a long process.  Lots of dreaming, sketching, and graph paper.

rolling it on

The best method of registration really had me stumped.  I tried an elaborate set up when I gocco printed my first repeat pattern on paper for journal covers.  Then I found Lena Corwin’s Printing by Hand this summer and she just says to draw the registration lines right on your fabric.  DUH!  So, that’s what I did with these linen curtains destined to be hung up between the front room and my art/ sewing room mess.  That way people will have something pretty to look at when they come to the front door and not just piles of paper and fabric and stuffed animals with holes in them.

working on curtains

I’ve got two panels to do.  I’m printing this design in brown first– which I’m 3/4 of the way done doing– and then I want to do an aqua-ish color in between the browns.  Who knows when I’ll get that done, but I know that I’ll love them!

block carving

But, before I could finish big fabric printing project #1, I had to get #2 underway.  This is the block to print the fabric for Brenna’s (after) Easter dress.  This I’m really excited to get to.  I will try to make myself finish the curtains first, though.

(photos by Barry)