Printed Fabric Bee Giveaway #10

With this giveaway, we at the Printed Fabric Bee are completing our first year! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. For me it has been a great experience to stretch myself – to force myself to use different colors and work with the monthly themes. As the months have passed I’ve seen my art improve and this month’s piece is my very favorite.

Leslie Tucker Jenison is the queen this month and her theme is “Urban Surface.” Leslie said, “I love the layered textures of old walls, peeling paint and graffiti on building walls.” Her size for this piece is 6 x 24.

I started with that sun scrunched fabric I blogged about here. It’s the one on the left.

Scrunched sun printing

Scrunched sun printing

I chose it rather than the gray piece because it reminded me of brick walls.

Then I wanted to add some blocks to the piece. I made several stencils with my Portrait using freezer paper and ironed them down.

freezer paper stencil on fabric

Next I came in with Jacquard DeColourant around the edges of the stencil. I wanted just a faint hint of blocks.

Using Decolorant

After the deColorant dried, I ironed it. The block markings are very faint.

ironing over deColorantNow that I had my brick wall I wanted to add some sort of graffiti. I used Black Screen Printing Ink with this Artistcellar Romans TEXTure Series stencil.

Adding screen printing ink

And here is my finished piece for Leslie.

Finished piece

Here is the giveaway piece.

#10 giveaway piece

And below is the giveaway collection you can win!


 If you’d love to win this collection, just visit The Printed Fabric Bee  and leave a comment.  The deadline is October 15. Good Luck!




Posted in Giveaway, stencils, surface design, The Printed Fabric Bee | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lots of Dyed Silk

You know I love fabric and surface design, but I’ve always gravitated toward cotton. Really, to tell you the truth, I have been scared to death of silk. It’s such a lovely fiber, but I’ve been so afraid I’d mess it up.

Then last year I took an awesome silk painting class from Evi Slaby. I posted here and here about that fabulous class. Evi helped me walk through my fear of silk and taught me a lot about silk and how it takes dyes. Through that class, Evi and I became friends and ended up displaying our work together in our Colorful Friendship exhibit this past January. Unfortunately, Evi will be moving to the Chicago area – a big loss for our area and for me! If you live in the Chicago area and have a chance, check out one of Evi’s classes.

That being said, I’ve been playing a lot with silk. And I have so enjoyed it. I am dyeing them using Colorhue dyes. Check out this basic tutorial I posted a couple years ago.

silk scarves

Here is a closer look at four of them.





It’s funny. I would finish one scarf and think it was the best one so far. Then when I finished the next one I would tell myself it was my favorite! I really do need to play more with silk.

Meanwhile I’m still thinking small. I made this in a class several weeks ago. I definitely will be making more of these.

quilt pendantAnd some Boro Balls. My hand stitching sure needs some help! Practice, practice, practice!

boro balls

The temperatures here are changing as autumn moves into our area. I do love this time of the year. As mentioned earlier, I’m looking forward to playing more with silk. I plan to dye some cotton shirts before it gets too cold in my dye studio (garage). Working on my hand stitching is also high on that list.

What are your artsy plans for the coming months? I’d love to hear from you. Have a creative day!

Posted in Colorhue, dyeing, fabric, Sewing, silk, surface design | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

How to: Scrunched Sun Printing

Well, We’ve come to the end of sun printing time in my neck of the woods. Due to this mild summer there have been a lot of days that I couldn’t get good prints. My sun printed class was rescheduled twice but even the last date, last Thursday, was too cool and no sun. I hated that as I look forward to sharing this technique. We’ll try again next summer.

Meanwhile, I did get a few prints before our weather turned.


In the following pictures I am showing you how I got the piece on the right. I started with a light gray fabric so anything the sun did not hit would remain gray.

I dipped the moist fabric in Seta Color Transparent Black Lake paint and water, and then laid out the fabric on plastic in the sun. Working fast I scrunched it, making peaks and valleys. I then took Dye Na Flow Brick and painted the peaks.

scrunchedsunfabric1Next, I went over the background with the black.

scrunchedsunprint2Then I added salt.

Adding saltI always have a spray bottle with water when I’m sun printing. I like to make sure the fabric is wet especially when adding salt. If the fabric has already dried, the salt will not make any marks on the fabric. Usually when it’s real hot, I have to work real fast.

scrunchedsunprint4Then it’s time for the sun to do it’s work. It was a bit windy so I placed some bricks on the plastic to keep it from flying up on top of the fabric.

fabric laying out in the sunHere are closeup shots of both pieces while they were still wet.

gray sun printed fabricwhite sun printed fabric wet

And the final pieces.

scrunched sun printed fabricI was happy with the results. I love taking a simple dyeing technique and using it with sun printing. I’m still amazed at all of the texture!

If it’s warm and sunny in your neck of the woods, try this. It’s easy and a great way to add texture and interest to your fabric. I’d love to see your pieces if you do. If you are new to sun printing and my blog, check out my other sun printing posts and tutorial here.


Posted in fabric, sun printing, surface design, tutorials | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Printed Fabric Bee Winner!

Congratulations to Bethany Garner of Canada who is the lucky winner of the Inspirational Words set of fabric from The Printed Fabric Bee. Bethany said she has following our group since we started almost a year ago. I can hardly believe it’s been a year! Time sure does fly.

Here are all but three of the pieces Bethany will be receiving soon. She’ll also receive a little surprise from me.

inspirationalwordsprizeThank you all for entering. Don’t forget that we will have another set to giveaway later this month. The theme for September is Urban Surfaces.

Posted in fabric, sun printing, The Printed Fabric Bee | Leave a comment

How to: sewing mini journal covers

I’ve been making small lately. One of the fun things has been sewing mini journal covers. They cover mini composition notebooks, just perfect for your pocket or purse.


The first one I made when figuring out the measurements turned out way too puffy and big.  The fusible interfacing, the stuff I use for the regular size journal covers, is too thick.

First attempt at journal cover

First attempt at journal cover

So after some adjustments, I came up with the following dimensions for these mini books.

Here is what you will need:

Cover and lining – 7 3/4 x 5 1/2

Inside flaps (2) – 4 1/2 x 5 1/2

Light fusible interfacing for all pieces. I used Pellon 906F.

Sewing machine and thread


bone folder or chopstick


Let’s get started.

Cut out fabric. Iron fusible interfacing to the back of all pieces.


The cover on the left in the first picture was pieced. Instead of cutting one piece of fabric for the cover, I tore strips and ironed them to the fusible.

pieced frontThen using the zigzag stitch, sewed the pieces down.

smalljournaltut4Then I ironed it.

smalljournaltut5Don’t cut the cover to size until you have zigzaged the complete cover. Skip those directions if you won’t be piecing your cover.

Next, fold the flaps in half and iron. They will now be 2 1/4 x 5 1/2. Sew 1/4 inch all the way down the piece from the fold.


Now it’s time to put this baby together. Place the cover right side up. This is the other cover that I just sewed a strip of fabric on it. The front of the cover will be on the right.

smalljournaltut6Next place the flaps, right sides down with the sewn edges to the center.

smalljournaltut7Place the lining right side down on top of these pieces.

smalljournaltut8Then pin all around. You will be sewing all the way around this sandwich except for an opening to turn the cover inside out. I leave the opening in the middle of the back which will be on the left side, but you could instead leave an opening at the bottom.

smalljournaltut9Once it’s sewn, trim the excess fabric at the corners.

smalljournaltut10Now it’s time to turn it inside out pushing it through that opening you left. Use a bone folder or other blunt object to help push out the corners. I spend a little time on this.

smalljournaltut11Then give it a good ironing.

smalljournaltut12Add the mini composition book and you are done. Yeah!


This was a fun and fast project. These would make great stocking stuffers for Christmas. Who couldn’t use a small notebook with a cute cover. I will be making some of these with my own fabric soon.

Don’t forget, you still have a couple days to enter to win the Printed Fabric Bee Giveaway #9. Click here and comment. Deadline is Wednesday at 8 am CST.

Posted in Sewing, tutorials | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Printed Fabric Bee Giveaway #9

Giveaway Closed – Bethany Garner of Canada was our winner

It’s time for the Printed Fabric Bee Giveaway!

I was so excited to be the Queen Bee this month. For my challenge I’ve asked for my piece to be 8 x 18 and it’s all about INSPIRATIONAL WORDS. For those of you who don’t know me, I have always been a writer, and it was through writing my newspaper column about local artists that I came to fabric surface design. I envision this collection as flags in my studio offering me inspiration and smiles every day. My favorite colors right now remind me of the Southwest and include (but not limited to) orange, light green, blue, and dark plum.

As with every month, each artist also makes a 6 x 6 piece for the giveaway. Here is the collection.

lynda heines inspiration

If you’d love to win this collection, just leave a comment on this blog post. Deadline is Wednesday, September 10 at 8 am CST.  Good Luck!

Posted in fabric, Giveaway, surface design, The Printed Fabric Bee | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Mounting a fabric print

I am really trying to make something of the fabric I create. Just like the journal covers I posted about on Saturday, it’s hard for me to cut into my fabric, but I’m pushing through that. Here is my finished mounted on canvas gelatin plate piece made in this gelatin printing post.

Finished project

When I was visiting my artist friend Kathy Sands recently, she showed me some of her work that was for sale in her studio. I loved how she had mounted her prints on canvas.

In the past I’ve wrapped the fabric around the canvas and attaching the fabric with a staple gun. I’ve also added felt to the back of the piece and then glued it on to canvas. But I love how she did this, so I decided to try it on one of my recently completed pieces.

Here are the steps. First take your piece and paint over it with a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 liquid matte medium. (I was so scared to do this!)

painting over with matt medium

Let this dry overnight. The next day it will be stiff and really easier to work with. If you wanted to you could do some hand stitching. I decided against that since I was eager to see how it will look “as is” on the canvas.

Then cut the fabric piece to cover the canvas.

Cut piece to canvas sizeYou can cut it larger and just wrap the edges but I wanted it to just cover the front.

Then paint the canvas with the thicker gel medium. I used Golden Regular Gel Gloss because that is all I had, but you could use semi gloss or matte.

Painting canvas with matt mediumPlace the fabric piece over the wet canvas. I started in the top left hand corner and lined it up. Since the canvas is still wet, you have time to move it around if you aren’t happy with your placement.

Placing the fabric over the canvasOnce you are happy with the placement, make sure it is smooth and then paint over it with the heavy gel medium.

painting over the fabric on canvasAfter it was completely covered with the gel medium, I went back over it with a small brush on top and around the edges. I wanted to make sure it was covered completely.

Going over with a small brushAnd again the finished piece.

Finished project

I love how it looks like the piece was painted on the canvas. This would work with all kinds of fabric pieces. Sure wish I would have known about this technique before the last exhibit. Thanks Kathy for the tips. I will be mounting more of my fabric pieces this way.

If you have a favorite way to mount your fabric pieces, I’d love to hear from you.


Posted in fabric, Finishing pieces, gelatin printing, Gelli Gel Printing, tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Summer sewing and dyeing

I have been keeping busy this summer with gardening and all, but I also have been really getting into sewing.

I had mentioned earlier that I was making some journal covers for Chemo Buddies, a local not-for-profit using fabric that was given to me by my friend Donna. Well, I finished eight and sent them on their way. This is a project I’ve wanted to do for years and just couldn’t seem to get the confidence to make them. I am so glad I did.

Journal covers for Chemo Buddies

Then my friend Barb wanted a few for some new friends. This time I wanted to use my fabric. One of the things I’ve struggled with is cutting into my fabric and really using it. This was a great exercise to help me push through that. Here are four from my fabrics. I’m really happy how they turned out.

The blue piece on the left is my dyed fabric and then stamped with decolorant.  The other journal cover is made from my sun printed fabric.


The last two are two are made with my recently dyed pieces.


Since a couple readers have asked me about the inside of these journals, I’ve updated this post with a picture of the inside. There is a pocket in the front cover and a loop for a pen on the back cover. These covers are made for composition books, but can also cover other journals depending on their size.

Inside journal cover

I also sewed Dave a new apron from fabric we bought in Hawaii this past January.

Dave in his new apron

I have to mention the kitties are a big help in the studio. Here is Ace in the scrap container.

aceinscrapsBut usually it’s Puddin whose sleeping there.


I’m also still dyeing. Last year I dyed Martha’s daughter Jillian some clothes for her first birthday. This year I dyed her a couple shirts and this dress.

Jillian's dress

And here is my shirt that matches.


Then Dave and I have matching shirts. We’ve not yet worn them together!


When we were in Australia a couple years ago everyone was wearing dresses with leggings. I love the look and wanted to dye a dress to wear like that.


I also played again with Colorhue dyes. If you are interested in these easy dyes, check out this post.

orange scarf

colorhue scarf

I bought this bag at Mother Teresa’s Treasures, the thrift store where I volunteer. I think today may be the day I paint it!

flowerbagWell, that’s all for now. The weather here has turned hot or really normal for August which is a great excuse to stay in and play. Hope you are keeping cool. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Colorhue, dyeing, fiber reactive dyes, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Round Gelatin Prints

Yesterday I showed you my “new” round permanent gelatin printing plate remelted from the one I made in December. If you missed that post, here is the link to the recipe to make your own.

So today I wanted to show you the gelatin prints I made on paper using Golden Fluid acrylic paints.

Round gelatin prints

I have mentioned before in my video, that I love the second or ghost print usually better than the first print so I’m showing you both.

The first ones were using Jane LaFazio’s Eucalyptus stencil from Stencil Girl.


janes1And Words to Live By stencil by Stencil Girl first and second print

stencil1print stencilprint2

The next first and second print are made with a piece of lace.

1laceprint 2laceprint

And the first and second print with netting.

nettingprint1 nettingprint2

The next two are first prints using a potato smasher.

1masherprint 2masherprint

That was so much fun. I’m looking forward to playing more, but next time with fabric.

So what, you ask, is the difference between this homemade gelatin plate and the Gelli Arts plate? The only difference I’ve come up with is that the homemade plate is softer – more spongy. I also need to store this plate in a closed box (Gelli Arts plate is stored in a clam shell container. I’m not sure how it would last just sitting out for 8 months on my worktable.) As I mentioned yesterday, I love my Gelli Arts plate, but this just gives me another size to play with.

If you’ve made one of these permanent gelatin plates, I’d love to hear what you think about it. Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful, creative week.

Posted in acrylic paints, art, crafts, gelatin printing, paper | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Homemade Permanent Gelatin Plate

First of all, I want to say I absolutely love my Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate and I use it a lot. However, last year when I saw this video by The Frugal Crafter on how to make a permanent gelatin plate, I just had to try it. I wanted a round plate to play with.

I made a regular gelatin plate in 2011, but it broke down pretty fast. Check out my blog post here.

Here is the recipe for the homemade permanent gelatin plate:

6 tablespoons of gelatin (7 packages)

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups of liquid glycerin

Dissolve the gelatin in glycerin and then add boiling water. Pour into a shallow pan to set.

So last December I poured mine into a cake pan. I put plastic wrap on the bottom of the pan so I could pull it out easily.

homemadegelpadAnd here it is sitting on the plastic wrap.


I played with it a couple times and then put it away. I stored it with the plastic wrap. It shrank a little and the plastic wrap I covered it with made deep lines in the plate. I like texture, but not on this plate.

old permanent pad

I pulled it out the other day when I played with preserved ferns on my Gelli Arts plate and also made some fern prints. You can see in the picture how deep much texture was on the plate. It was hard to keep from putting on way too much paint due to the ruts.

printing with permanent plate

Here is one of the prints.

prints from permanent plateNot bad, but I really want a smooth surface so this past week I melted the plate and repoured it. I broke up the plate into several pieces and microwaved it on high for several minutes.

After it was liquid I poured it into a smaller pan and let it set up for about 8 hours. I then used a blunt knife to cut around the whole plate. I used the knife to help me pry up the plate and it popped out.  My “new” printing plate is colored from paint left on it from previous printing sessions.

new gelatin plateI left this plate alone for another 12 hours. Then I decided I wanted it to be smaller. I found a container the size I liked, set it on top of the plate and cut around it.

Cutting the plateThis is how it turned out.

cut plate

It wasn’t perfect or even close to it, so I took some paper scissors and clipped.

Rounding out the plate

But wait! Look at all of the leftover pieces. I just can’t throw them away.

Left over cut up plateI remelted them and poured them in a small container to have a small rectangle.

small newly poured plate

I decided that the plastic wrap was not needed and it could put unwanted texture on the plate. I only used it because I thought I needed it to get the plate out of the pan. No, it pops right out.

I ended up putting the new round plate on a piece of Dura-Lar, the same stuff I use to make stencils. To store it I also put a piece over it. If you have a Gelli Arts plate it is stored with similar material on the bottom and top.

Covering plate with dura-lar

Covering plate with Dura-lar

Tomorrow I’ll show your some prints from this “new” homemade permanent gelatin plate.

Posted in gelatin printing, tutorials | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments