Printing on t-shirts

In previous posts I've described different printing methods on fabric. My main faves being plain weave cottons for quilting and linen for tea towels. Different textures and weaves produce different prints. I also like to print on t-shirts which is quite different again. T-shirts are made from a knit fabric unlike the fabric I usually print on which is woven. Knit fabric is generally made up of a single yarn, looped continuously (interloped or knitted) and woven fabric usually uses multiple ... Continue Reading

Relief printing on fabric

When I print on fabric I generally use the 'stamping' method as I don't have a press in my little studio. It's quite a different result than printing on paper because I often use a barren or wooden spoon then, to help apply pressure to transfer the image. On fabric, however, I found neither a barren nor wooden spoon were as effective and so it really comes down to how much ink and how much pressure can be applied without 'moving' either the Lino or the fabric. I use masking tape to ... Continue Reading

Directional fabric in patchwork

Directional fabrics, also known as 'one-way prints' are those where the print has a definite direction and would look upside down or sideways if care wasn't taken when cut. Sometimes I don't particularly care as the blocks are small or not really noticeable or perhaps they're all so random the quilt doesn't have an 'up' or 'down' and it doesn't matter. Other times however, they can stick out like a sore thumb and if it's going to bother you then a bit of care is required when cutting and ... Continue Reading

A little visible mending goes a long way!

Over the last few years I have become quite conscious of fast fashion and it's consequences so I've tried to be more mindful not only in my purchases but also what I already have. In past generations, consumerism was nowhere near the levels of today and I find I am drawn to some of the more utilitarian methods of making do and using what we already have if I can. Crafting seems to have grown up! From patchwork to mending, many old crafts are coming back but now, instead of just being a ... Continue Reading

Intaglio Printing

This technique is the opposite of relief printing as whatever is to be printed is cut into the surface, which then holds the ink. The raised areas then have the ink removed before pressure is applied to dampened paper forcing it into the cuts below the surface of the printing plate to pick up the ink. Here I have used a thin aluminium plate but any other metal could be used, traditionally copper, zinc or magnesium however, even acetate sheets or coated papers produce some ... Continue Reading

Relief printing with lino

Relief printing is where ink is applied to a raised surface which is then transferred to another material such as paper or fabric. To achieve the 'raised surface' we need to remove what is not to be printed. Sharp tools called gouges are required to do this. Above is an example of removing or carving the lino. The first pic shows the lines of the flower being carved out. I've used a small 'v' gouge as I wanted a reasonably fine line to cut the lino and follow my drawing more closely... Continue Reading

Spinning seams to reduce bulk

One of my favourite go-to patchwork blocks is the half-square-triangle also known as HST! These blocks are so versatile as they can be used in so many different ways. The only drawback is that so many angles and seams can create a lot of bulk which can mean 'speed humps'. Not only can these be unsightly when straight stitching but needles can break trying to sew through so many layers. Nesting seams reduces these issues but sometimes and especially with intersecting points or angles, another ... Continue Reading

In this together!

Wow! The last couple of months have been extraordinary. Challenges left right and centre! Droughts, bushfires and then a global pandemic! Yet through it all I have been amazed by so many positives amidst so many negatives. I don't want to make light of the devastation or heartbreaking losses of loved ones here or anywhere for that matter. Indeed, there have been many times when daily life seemed so overwhelming for so many and truly there have been a number of situations of late when one ... Continue Reading

Squaring up quilt blocks

Patchwork quilts are made up of blocks. Putting those blocks together so they fit neatly and align accurately takes a little patience and care. Whether a beginner or not, sometimes the quilt blocks are not perfectly square when done. Most quilt blocks are made of at least two pieces so with every cut and every seam, there is the possibility of getting off square. When hand sewing, it's easier to 'fudge' it by manipulating the fabric to fit. This won't work when machine sewing which is why ... Continue Reading

Home made gelatine plate

I love making gelliprints! Whilst there's a lot of different commercial plates out there, my favourite is a home-made one. This is the basic recipe I use when I'm in the mood for printing! You'll need the following: Gelatine Powder Measuring cup A container (like a pie dish, or low cake tin - something with a flat bottom, 3cm sides and can hold really hot or really cold liquid) A mixing bowl and spoon Place container on level surface and measure how many cups of ... Continue Reading