Saturday, January 11, 2014

Printing Tea Towels!

This is kind of a last minute project I came up with for Christmas gifts.  I've done a little bit of fabric printing before so I decided to make tea towels out of 100% linen for my family and friends.  I'm not sure how useful they are, maybe it needs a little fine tuning. They did turn out pretty, I think anyway, so maybe next time I'll find different fabric. 

The first thing I did was come up with a design.  I light bulb went on in my head when I was decorating my grandparents Christmas tree.  It's covered in handmade beaded ornaments made by my great grandma.  I love their vintage look, and I love how they sparkle on the tree! So I used that as my inspiration.  I would like to do more with this possibly if I can make the time!

One of Great Grandma's Ornaments

Next, I photo copied the design from my printer, rubbed it on to my vinyl block and carved it out.  Then I got out my screen printing ink, rolled it on and started printing.  That's the basics, but it's not as easy as it sounds. 

Stack of Finished Tea Towels

I finished them with mitered corners.  I found a good tutorial here!
Most of the towels looked like the ones below with one repeat in the middle.

Finished "Neighborhood" Quilt

The stars have aligned, my baby is sleeping, and I can now finally show you my Christmas quilt I made for my in-laws!


  It's from the book, "Modern Patchwork" by Elizabeth Hartman, and it's called "Neighborhood".  The pattern was easy to understand, not too technical, and so it didn't really take me too long to finish it.  

The problem I had was trying to buy a background fabric for this quilt online.  This was just really tricky trying to match colors.  There are some things about living in the big city that I really miss!  It ended up being okay with a dark grey, I think it was called "steel", but I would've liked to use a blue or something.  I wasn't brave enough to buy 5 yards of the wrong blue from an online store that takes f o r e v e r to ship.  Yes, I'm talking about YOU Joann Fabrics.  Please do better? Why am I buying from them? Oh, because they sell Kona solids at the best price if you use a coupon...but sometimes I'd like to just say "Take that, Joann's!" and buy somewhere else.  Anyway...sorry for that rant.  

On with the project at hand!  The one thing I will say about Elizabeth Hartman, not a bad thing just something to be aware of, is that she maybe over does it on the amount of fabric you need.  I mean I bought 5 yards and probably used 4, then she leaves ample room on the borders to trim off I have lots of leftover grey.  Again, not a bad thing.  She likes to be prepared I know, but just something to be aware of.  

Here are a few more pictures:

Oh yeah, I put my signature on the back.  Turned out not so good.  I actually carved it out of vinyl, rolled screen printing ink on it and stamped it.  I didn't push hard enough so I had to paint over it, and I hope next time I do better because my test really looked good.