My good friend Lorie and I had a day out at the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Ally Pally last Thursday. I had gone with the intention of not buying a load more fabric and yarn, since I already have stacks of both, but to look for something different. I bought a couple of embroidery sets which I really liked, even though embroidery isn’t usually my thing, and a couple of metres of a fabric with a dandelion print – you’ll probably have realised by now how fond I am of dandelion silhouettes so I couldn’t leave without it!
My main purchase was a block printing kit for printing designs onto fabric. It was purchased from Block Craft who had a well-designed stall with demonstrations of the technique, lots of examples of the paint colours, stamps, stamped tea towels, bags, clothing and wrapping paper and all that sold it to me. Whilst I realise this is not different as such since it’s very similar to card stamping, I’ve never really done anything with fabric so I was keen to try it out.
The starter kit came with instructions, a paint tray, a foam mat, 3 sponge blocks, 3 pots of paint in colours of your choice, a plain cotton tea towel and bag and £15 towards blocks of your choice. I chose Duck Egg Blue, Indigo and Grey fabric paints and a trio of chickens.
During the demonstration, the stallholder said that less is more when applying the paint to the blocks with the sponge. If you apply too much, it fills in the crevices of the stamp and you lose the definition, so I decided to have a practice of some scrap fabric before I committed to my tea towel.
The process is: pour some paint into the tray; dab the sponge in the paint; dab the sponge around the tray to even out the paint on the sponge and then apply lightly to the block. Place the fabric on the foam mat and press the block onto the fabric. Simples!
I wanted to try out some of my photopolymer stamps as I fancied personalising my tea towel so I used my Stampin’ Up! Letters For You stamp set and an acrylic block. It does work but it requires careful application of the paint as the relief on the stamps is not as deep as the wooden blocks so it’s easy to get paint on the background part of the stamp. I think rubber stamps would probably be easier to use with the paints – I’ll be trying that out when I’ve bought more plain tea-towels!
I decided to print my words first as I thought it’d be easier to fit the chickens in around them afterwards. I think I ‘over-chickened’ the parts at the side of the letters as I’d not really got a pattern established then. I’d think more about placement next time.
To heat set the fabric paint and make it washable, leave the tea towel to dry overnight, then either tumble dry on high for 10-15 minutes or iron with hot dry iron.
I had a bit of a gap at the top and bottom of the tea towel and a bit of paint left so I decided to stamp a few lines of hearts.
I’m really pleased with the end result and I will be buying more tea towels and experimenting with my various stamp sets.
Letter images © Stampin’ Up!