Before I started printing on fabric, I needed a surface to which I could pin fabric to hold it taunt while was I stamping, rolling, scrapping or screen printing. I made print boards from 1" insulation board that I purchased a hardware store. I layered a piece of leftover batting and drop cloth material on top. Both were duct taped to the insulation board to hold it secure. I like the drop cloth material that I found in the paint isle of the hardware store because it absorbs moisture and paint/thicken dyes doesn't smear onto clean cloth. However, duck/twill material or a plastic drop cloth can be substituted. The insulation board comes in large pieces and can easily be cut down with a utility knife. Two points I recommend thinking about when deciding what size to make your print boards... First, what size fabric to you want to have? Yard pieces, fat quarters or something else. It is much easier to have the board be the "right" size then to have to re-pin. Second, how big of a space do you have to work in? and where will you store the boards when they aren't being used? Having big boards when working on half a table can be an accident waiting to happen.
Good luck and Happy Printing!
A few years ago, friends and I were talking about splice quilts. A splice quilt is where you take a photograph of something, divide it into sections and different people re-create the different sections in their own fabrics using their own techniques. When all the different sections are completed, they are joined together to re-create the original photograph in quilt form. We thought the idea was interesting but no one had not participated in making one. We decided that we like to give it a try. It has taken us a while to find the right copyright free image, that we all liked and agreed on. We decided on a picture of a sea turtle. Each of us will complete 2 sections. Here is my first section. It is not 100% accurate, but I think it is a good likeness. I started out by dyeing 2 shades of "terra cotta". My lighter shade turned out a bit too little, so I ended up going in with Inktense pencils to darken the edges. I also used some white and yellow tsukineko inks to lighten/hightlight in the darker color. I hand appliquéd each section of the shell to white background fabric. The blue water is also a hand-dyed fabric hand appliquéd down. Now, onto the next section... I think I'm going to paint that one.
Last week I taught my beginning dyeing class (fabric dyeing, just for clarification). I had a student ask me an important question..."what happens if I forget to put in the activator (soda ash solution)?" I am so glad that I went home and promptly home and did just that...please note a touch of sarcasm in this statement. I was doing a color-to-color gradation with fat quarters. I had orange on one end and a blueish-green on the other end. Students typically are happy with the muddy colors, but I thought it would be a good example to see just how the colors shift in this area of the color grid (or wheel).
As you can see I remembered to put the soda ash in the one bag... the orange. It was forgotten in the others. You might be able to see the slight staining that occurred on the other pieces. It would have been a nice sample set. Oh well. I now how a sample of what happen when you forget the soda ash activator!
I love using leader/ enders when I am chain piecing. It was an idea from Bonnie Hunter. Instead of using a scrap piece of material in between chains, use two small blocks. You can work on two project projects at once! I keep a pile of 2" scrap squares next to my machine for this reason...Happy piecing!