Print Shop

I love fabric. I’ve spent hours at my computer screen drooling over fabrics I will never have. Those featured at True Up make me feel light-headed. Anna Maria Horner fabrics make my heart swell. Sometimes my dreams are colored by Echino prints and patterns. Sadly, all the amazing fabric I find is out of my price range. Even creating my own prints at Spoonflower or Fabric on Demand is pricier than I can justify with my amateur sewing skills. You can believe that the moment I learn how to make a dress I would proudly have someone other than myself wear, I might consider spending $25 per yard on fabric. Until then, though, I’m going to do the best with what I have.

Screen printing has been really appealing for a while, but lack of start-up supplies is keeping me from diving right in. Sometimes I have to encourage myself to start small on certain projects because more often than not I get wildly excited about something only to find out I only like it in theory. So I started small this time and decided to try some block printing instead.The Big League Chew in my last post was the pile of pink Speedball Speedy-Carve Block Print I cut away to make a 3X5 flower.

First I sketched in my notebook a very simple pattern I thought could work on napkins or towels. Once I was satisfied with the design, I re-traced it heavily with pencil, then pressed the Speedy Carve block onto the pencil, transferring the image. Then I carved away.

The first part of the project seemed to go so seamlessly that I had no worries about part number two, but that’s the part I really should have been concerned about.

While Regan slaved over sauteed veggies and salmon for dinner tonight, and cut up a fresh pile of strawberries for dessert, I sat in the other room not helping at all. I was spending my time becoming more and more frustrated with the mediocre results I was getting with my first attempt at fabric printing. Imperfections and ink smudges litter the landscape of the fabric and the vibrant ink color I thought I’d created was a muted purple, bordering on brown. However, for a first attempt I guess I really shouldn’t be too down. We now have a one-of-a-kind collection of kitchen towels cut from a linen tablecloth I got from Goodwill. And now I know what works and what doesn’t for when I attempt round number two. I’ll not give up on my dream of amazing fabric so easily. Baby steps, right?





5 responses to “Print Shop”

  1. Eric Murray Avatar

    I knew it was a lino-cut! Looks awesome, Claire, even with the imperfections.

    1. Claire Avatar

      Thanks, Eric!

  2. Amber Avatar

    I would gladly wear anything you make! Please make me something!

    1. Claire Avatar

      You design something around one of your fab accessories and I’ll make it!

  3. maryannk Avatar

    I agree with Eric – I think it looks very cool, even with a few smudges. Actually works really well with the texture of the linen.

    YOu’ll get there! It was only your first attempt. And I totally get the Big League Chew thing. Hehehe.

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