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February 15, 2019

Experimental Screen Printing Class

I am taking an Experimental Screen Painting Class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) this semester, and hopefully will gain an understanding of the many methods for screen printing.  I have previously done 2 types of screen prints, and those two prints are at the end of this blog post. 

We made a 4 Color Reduction Print over the first two weeks.  I had no idea what they even meant 2 weeks ago!  Read here for method:  The white shapes on my screen print are the color of the fabric, and I brushed screen filler over every place that you see white to "protect it", and then pulled a print with light blue pigment.  The light blue color is #1.  Going forward, I brushed on "screen filler" to delineate the areas that I wanted to remain light blue, and then pulled a print with darker blue.  This process, i.e. screen filler to delineate areas you want to save, and then pulling a print with darker colors (#3 dark purplish blue and then #4 black). It made my brain hurt trying to figure out the process.  Before adding the black pigment, every part of my screen except for the black areas at the bottom of the screen were brushed with screen filler to maintain the printing I wanted to save.  To pull a print, pudding-like pigments are put along the top edge of the screen and a squeegee is used to pull the paint down over the screen in one slow, consistent movement.

My Print on Fabric: 



My only other experiences with screen printing were one day workshops printing on fabric with fabric paints.

One color Screen print with mask - a Christmas Tree Decoration:

In the first photo, I made multiple prints of the green tree on a big piece of red fabric using a contact paper "mask "over the screen (with the green sections cut out), only allowing me to print the areas that are green as the print was pulled.  The gold color is machine quilting with metallic gold thread.  



Thermofax Screen Print with several colors of thickened Procion MX Dye - A Quilt Journal Page:

I don't understand how thermofax screens are made, but essentially a stencil is burned into a screen using a Thermofax photocopying machine and special paper.  I brought black and white ink jet prints to the workshop and the screens were made for me during the workshop.  They are more like stencils with multiple areas on the screen that let paint through. On this 8.5 X 11" quilt journal page, I used several different screens, and colors of thickened dyes for this tiny art quilt.



 Stay Tuned:  Next we are making photoemulsion screens and it is all still a mystery to me. 

January 11, 2019

Threads, Not Paper, This Week

I have multiple creative passions and I decided that this month I was going to enjoy sewing things that were on my "To Do List" for too long.  I still did quick daily drawings after breakfast, but when I came home from my morning volunteer sessions, I dedicated myself to my sewing machine.  

Sewing was my first real passion and I made clothes for myself and my children, with household and gift items beginning in my high school days.  In 1980 I started quilting and fell in love with hand stitching patchwork, applique, and the final quilting.  After many hours at work, I loved the slow pace of stitching in the evenings.  I even carried around a small plastic bag with fabric pieces, needle, thread and scissors and made a lap size scrap quilt for myself while watching my childrens' competitive swim practices.  This is my favorite of many quilts because of the hours spent hand quilting it, and my husband insisted that we hang it in our apartment.  I have a "Threads" category on my blog for the occasional textile entries.



So far this week I made 5 pillows.  The middle one was made from a piece of Mario Fortuny fabric purchased in Venice during our 50th wedding anniversary visit there.  Twenty five years earlier I bought another Fortuny fabric in Venice and wanted another pillow to remember our visits.  



I also finally made a quilted piece for our dining room table with 3 small pieces of aboriginal fabric that my friend Bunny brought back for us from her trip to Australia and New Zealand.  I loved how they looked cut and reassembled, and just did simple machine quilting on the seamlines. 



December 18, 2018

Making Christmas Tree Ornaments

My blog is called Paper and Threads because I used to spend more time sewing, quilting, and dying fabric, than drawing and painting.  I occasionally add a blog post about "threads"  and you can click on the "threads" category at the bottom of the blog archives to see those entries.

I have been making Christmas Tree ornaments for family and friends since 1976, and some years I made 20-24 of the same ornament.  Now I make them for my sons and daughter, and for each of our grandchildren.  I blocked out last Saturday and Sunday and did nothing but create and sew ornaments.  I scanned a fabric dye painting of Alice, resized it, and then printed it out on fabric for each of our 8 grandchildren.  Here are all of them, and in the next photo Alice is hanging next to Axel on our tree.  I made the Axel ornament in 2015, the year that I created this character as part of an art assignment.



Alice and Axel



Most years I make a new ornament as a sample for consideration.  This year I made this pieced tree as a sample. I may redo the design in the future,



My good friend Paula Nadelstern is a quilter and fabric designer.  One of her new fabrics has multiple 4inch printed medallions and I selected one, made a 4 inch "little quilt," and then machine stitched around several of the concentric circles with gold metallic thread. 



Our youngest grandchild, a 6 year old, asked me if I could make him a Peacock ornament. I regularly get requests from our grandchildren, so I made him a peacock, and he will still get Alice.  The fabrics for the peacock are fused onto the purple fabric and then machine stitched with shiny metallic blue thread.  That was the final ornament, #15, for the weekend.


November 3, 2018

International Quilt Festival in Texas

I am going to the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas this weekend for 5 days.  This is my 33rd annual Festival - and it has grown from several large spaces at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, when I first attended, to the Convention Center in Houston, occupying 3 floors in this HUGE space.  There are hundreds of Vendors, Quilt, Doll, Clothing exhibits, and lots of classes and lectures - to name just a few activities.  They report 50-60,000 visitors each year from most parts of the world. 

This is where I take classes and keep my textile passion alive.  For many years my classes were devoted to "surface design" which means taking white fabric and converting it into colored decorated fabric using a variety of techniques. 


I use my hand-dyed fabric for many projects, and even make book cloth with it for my handmade watercolor sketchbooks.  I just finished making this book and a matching pen pocket which I now use with every sketchbook when I'm sketching out of my apartment..  


These are the end papers and the back side of the pen pocket. 



Here are Sketchbooks numbered 29-50, and the new one is #62. I need to do another shelf photo.   I enjoy using these colorful sketchbooks, all with 140 lb watercolor paper that I love.


I'll be back blogging next Friday, unless I can figure out how to do it easily from my phone.  I'd love to show you the art quilts that can compete with the best of the art we see on paper and canvas. 

December 23, 2017



I made 4 more tree ornaments, one each for our children Noah, Jason, and Rachel, and the red present for our tree.

What I want in my presents:  Joy, Good Health, Intellectual Stimulation, and World Peace. 


The Christmas tree is up and decorated, and the family gifts are in stockings or gift bags I made for everyone over the last 15 years.  We're ready - except for the cooking.


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