Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hand Printed Pillows

I am in the process of dyeing our sofas' sailcloth slipcovers a charcoal grey (which means I intend to do this soon but haven't actually started).  They are currently a VERY light natural cotton.  I have mentioned that I have three kids and a huge hound dog, right?  Off white is a ridiculous thing, on anything, to have in this house.  Our tile floors and walls are very light and bright, but they are very neutral.  I am pretty sure that the room can pull off the dark couches, but I know I have some work to do to get some color in there.  I have been playing around with appliqued and patchwork pillows a little bit for the shop and shows, but I have only printed a few, and I have only actually made one for us me.
Yesterday, I came across this post at A Beautiful Mess and I was quite inspired (so inspired, I might have actually entered the studio in a bit of a jog).  This was one of those projects that has been on my to-do list, so I had already purchased a few supplies for stencil printing, including some gorgeous colors of acrylic paint and liquid fabric medium for printing (to mix with the paint so that the print is permanent and washable after heat setting).  I am not sure how incredibly important the addition of the medium is;  have you ever tried to wash acrylic paint out of clothes?  I have, and I failed.
I usually print with blocks or screens using screen printing ink, so this project was two new things in one. It was pretty simple with easily accessed materials. Screen printing ink for fabric would absolutely work here, but it may be a little harder to find around town. 

For the rectangular print, I cut a stencil pattern out of a sturdy quilting template sheet with an Exacto knife and a teeny tiny hole punch, and I used a round foam pouncing sponge for the polka dots. It is important to have an additional surface to use to load your pouncers; spread a little paint on it, and make sure that you pick up a thin but even layer with your sponge or brush.  The paint should be applied using a tapping, up and down motion only until you have good coverage. Practicing on a scrap is a good idea.  Having a wet cloth around to clean your fingers frequently is also a good idea.

They need to dry for about 24 hours, and then they'll be ready to heat set (using an iron) and stitch up.
I am anxious to sew them up and see what they'll feel like after washing them, as the print is a little stiff. 

I'll post an update when they are finished up. 

©the high fiber 2013

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