Spring Classes – Easy Screen Printing



We had so much fun screen printing in our Art Quilt group that I’m very excited to bring this class to both MQX and MQS this spring. I thought screen printing needed expensive materials and was difficult to do but I found out that you can make your own screens with common materials and it was very easy. In the class we’ll be making two kinds of screens – one disposable and one reusable. We’ll experiment with different mediums to create the design – soy wax, glue, paste and freezer paper; and different mediums to print with – fabric paint, screenprinting ink, and shaving cream mixed with ink and discuss using dyes as the medium. You’ll go home with a screen and several printed fat quarters. Don’t settle for just the fabric you can find….make your own!

MQX – Wednesday, April 11th,  9-11 am.  Sign up here:  http://www.mqxshow.com/MQX/East/Home/index.cfm

MQS – Saturday, May 19th, 8-10 am.  Sign up here: http://www.mqsshow.org/Registration/

Making the screens……..










Ready to print – freezer paper butterflies cut with the Slice with soy wax swirls….









The finished fabric:



Image I’ve been trying to decide what to do for an advent calendar this year. I finally decided to get 25 small ornaments (on sale at Target..) and put one on a small tree each day until Christmas. I thought about putting the grandkids names on the ornaments but since grandchild 25 is due in March I was quickly running out of days until Christmas so I opted to put our children’s names plus mine and my husbands on the small ball. The other days would have the colored pinecone ornaments. I bought a small tree skirt at Hobby Lobby. Now I just needed something to put the ornaments in. I decided to make fabric bags for the ornaments using some Moda fabric.  I used 4 fabrics – 6 inches by wof of the one for the numbers and 9 inches by wof of three others. You could also use 4 fat quarters. Image I cut out the numbers with my Slice Fabrique. This was my favorite part of the whole process and a big reason why I chose fabric bags – I wanted the excuse to cut something…Lots of something.   I decided to use the numerals from the “Vintage Seasons” Fabrique card. Each numeral needs to be cut separately, but it didn’t take very long. ImageTo use the Fabrique you use Slice temporary spray adhesive on a glass mat. Once your mat is sprayed it remains sticky for a long time. My mat was still sticky enough from the last time I cut that I didn’t need to re-spray it. I cut the fabric that I wanted to use for the numerals into two 3 inch strips. To use the Fabrique the fabric needs to have some type of paper on the back, either paper backed fusible or freezer paper. Since I wanted to be able to fuse the numerals on the fabric I used Wonder Under fusing it to the strips. I put the fused fabric on the sticky mat. Image   From the Vintage Seasons SD card I selected the numerals. I cut them all at the 1 size which gave me letters a bit over 1 inch tall. You can see the numeral on the Slice screen. (I took the pic after and didn’t see the size was 2 – I did cut mine on 1.)  I cut all the “1”s first, then the “2”s, etc.   Image   You can see the “2” in the picture to the left. It takes just seconds to cut so it goes quickly. After cutting I would move the fabric over and cut the next numeral.         ImageThen I made the fabric for the bags. I cut 9 inch strips from 3 fabric or if you’re using fat quarters cut the fat quarter into two 9 inch pieces. Then I serged both edges of the fabric using a rolled hem. I put gold metallic thread in the top looper and gold shiny polyester thread in the bottom looper with regular thread in the needle. Pairing poly thread with the metallic makes the sewing go easier. After serging all the long edges I cut them into 4 1/2 inch pieces so the finished pieces are 4 1/2 by 9 having the rolled hem on the 4 1/2 inch sides.   Image Next I fused the numbers on the fabric. I found it was really easy to get the paper off the back of the numbers if I scored the paper with a pin before trying to remove it. I just folded the fabric so I could see where to put the numbers and ironed them on.         ImageThen it was back to the serger where I serged up the sides to make the bags.  Fill and tie with ribbon and you’re done. I found a basket to put all the little bags in and my advent tree is ready. If you decided to do this project send pictures. I’d like to see what you come up with. Till next time…….. Image

Advent Calendar

Sunset Quilt


I had an idea for a theme quilt for MQS in May.  The theme is “South of the Border”. The February Art Quilt group was supposed to be how to paint sunrises and sunsets. We weren’t able to meet and that project is on the list for next month. It had gotten me to thinking and I came up with this quilt. I’ll be posting the steps in making it as I go along.

I started dyeing the fabric March 4th. I wanted to use Quick Fix so that I didn’t have to wrap the fabric up and wait 24 hours before washing. I searched the internet for inspiration – I usually use Google images. I typed in “desert sunset” and “desert sunrise” and looked at photos until I had some idea where I wanted to go. One of the most striking photos had a very large white sun setting.

I used Renee’s Mini Rays (www.reneequilts.com) to draw a large circle on freezer paper. I ironed the outside onto the fabric and then painted Presist into the circle to resist the fabric dye.

Resist, beginning painting

I then mixed up MX dye with urea water and water. Using the urea water is optional. It makes the water wetter so it will take longer to dry and give the dye molecules more time to find a “home”. I used only a small amount of dye to give a pale yellow color. I painted the dye on with a sponge brush.

Adding more color

I added more yellow dye for a deeper yellow color painted some more and then added orange. If the fabric is wet enough the colors will blend together.
When you’re done painting, let the fabric air dry. When dry, paint over the whole piece with QuickFix using a large sponge brush, saturating the fabric. Wrap the fabric in plastic and let sit for 1 hour. I used about 2/3rds of a bottle of QuickFix for this piece. At this point you will see all sorts of problems and think you’ve made several mistakes.  Just remember…. It’s not over ’till it’s over.

Finished Sunset Fabric

After an hour rinse the fabric 3 or 4 times and then wash in hot water with Synthrapol. Dry the fabric and then you’ll be able to see how the fabric came out. I was really pleased with the result. Before I rinsed the fabric it looked as if the resist had not held and that there was some yellow under it. It also looked like there was more orange in the yellow than I had wanted. When dry the circle was yellow free and the orange had stayed put.
Later this month…. or maybe next month, we’ll be continuing with sunrises and sunsets using some different mediums.  I’ll also be posting the next steps in the creation of this quilt.
If you want to give it a whirl be sure and send me photos!!
Until next time…   Patti

Artist Post Cards


Pam from our Art Quilt Group made some Valentine fabric in our January Group by fusing heart shapes. In February I received this lovely Valentine.  She mailed it in a clear plastic sleeve with my address showing through on the back.  Here it is to share with you.

Valentine from Pam

When she was making the fabric, without knowing what she had in mind, I thought the hearts were too far apart.  They ending up being just perfect, allowing her to add patterns stamped onto the fabric, buttons, and other embellishments. The fabric was mounted on timtex with fabric fused on the reverse side also. Then Pam sewed around the postcard added a message and address to the other side and sent them out.


January Art Quilt Group – Die Cuts


Planets Collide

I’ve gotten into cutting lately.. appropriate cutting of non-living things. I’m probably attracted to it because there are tools

Floral Quilt Block

that make the job easier and I’m all about the tools. Both the quilt block to the left and the small quilt above were made with shapes cut from die cutting machines. They are quilts in progress, they’ve been fused, but not quilted.

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Accuquilt GO. Fewer of you have heard of Sizzix Big Shot since it comes from the scrapbooking world. (I’ve also “crossed over” into scrapbooking – it gives me more opportunity to cut things.)

The Sizzix Big Shot

The Big Shot (or the Big Kick – they’re the same basic machine) works much the same way as the GO. They use cutting dies that are sandwiched with fabric between two cutting plates and put through the machine with a crank. When the sandwich comes out the other side, voila! your fabric is cut. The upside to the Sizzix is it’s cost and the cost of the dies.  The machine is around $100 but can be purchased with a coupon or online. The dies are $15 – $20 but can be bought with coupons or on sale.

For these projects I used dies from the GO, Sizzix and Spellbinders.

Sizzix dies

The Sizzix dies look like small GO dies with a black plastic base instead of green. They have blades inside of foam. When the rollar blades push the fabric into the die the fabric cuts. Even though they look the same size you cannot cut Sizzix dies in the GO, the Sizzix dies are too thick. And even though the Sizzix is 6 inches across you cannot cut GO dies in the Sizzix – they’re a bit too wide.

Spellbinders Package

Spellbinders Dies

Spellbinders dies lack the foam. There very thin and can be nested for storage. You get several sizes of the shape in one package. They can be used with either the Sizzix or the GO.

Start by fusing your favorite fusible to the wrong side of your fabric. This way you can iron your pieces down when your finished. If you prefer to sew them down you can leave off the fusible but there will not be any extra on the shapes to be able to turn under the edges. I put parchment paper down on my ironing board  then put down the fusible and then the fabric.  A quick press adheared the fabric and it pulled right off the paper. Be sure and check the directions for your particular fusible. To cut with the Sizzix die you make a sandwich: from bottom – cutting plate, sizzix die, fabric – right side down, cutting plate. Place the sandwich into the Sizzix and turn the handle. It’s helpful if all the layers are not exactly even with each other, it will go into the machine easier. You may also need to put a bit of pressure on top of the sandwich or give it a little push. It should be a bit hard to go through but not too hard. If it doesn’t cut well your sandwich may not be thick enough. Add a piece of paper or cardboard under the die as a shim until you get a good cut. If you’re cutting with the GO the sandwich consists of, from bottom – cutting die, fabric, cutting mat.

Sizzix "sandwich" going into the machine

The cut fabric

To use the Spellbinder dies place the die on the multipurpose platform, then the fused fabric, then both of the cutting plates. You can also place them on the multipurpose platform and add one of the cutting mats and run them through the GO cutter. I like experimenting with the Spellbinder dies because you can get so many options with the shapes. You can nest the shapes so that you can cut rings and skew the inside die for “warped” shapes.

Once your shapes are cut arrange them on your fabric. You may want to press guide lines or make marks (only if they’ll come out after being ironed – check first) to help with the placement.  Once your design is the way you want it fuse it down following the instructions on your fusible.

I’ve also been experimenting with texturizing fabric.  In “Planets Collide” I texturized some of the circles before fusing them I used the Cuttlebug embossing folders to do this.

Cuttlebug Embossing Folder

The folders have a pattern that sticks out on one side and is indented on the other. To use them you put the paper in the folder and run it through the Sizzix using the multipurpose platform and both cutting plates. When you open up the folder the paper has been pushed into shape. It works well with fabric, the trick is to be able to keep the texture, especially when you need to iron it down.  I’ve been experimenting and have had some success by using stiffening liquid. Take a piece of wax paper. Place the fabric on it and brush on the stiffening liquid until it’s soaked. Fold the wax paper over the fabric, place in the folder and run through the machine. When it’s out unfold the top layer of wax paper. Let the fabric dry then peel it off the paper. This wouldn’t stand up to washing and there’s some problems with getting the fusible to stay on but it did iron on. If anyone has any thoughts on this I’d be happy to hear them.

I recently attended CHA (Crafts and Hobby Association) Show. I am so excited about a product I saw there. Recently Sizzix has come out with a 12″ cutter called the Big Shot Pro. The Big Shot Pro works with a tray system to hold the dies like the Accuquilt Studio. I had wondered if it would take the GO dies and had taken one with me for a test run. Not only does it take the GO dies, except for the long strip cutters, they told me it will also take the Accuquilt Studio dies, again, except for the long strip cutters because the tray is not long enough. The exciting news is that Sizzix will be producing the machine as a fabric cutter and will be coming out with quilting dies. The quilting machine will have a larger tray to hold the longer dies and will work with all the Accuquilt GO and Studio dies. They are coming out with dies for it and also …..drumroll….. they are coming out with quilting dies that will work with the regular Sizzix!  Yes, the little, well under $100, cutter! They’ll have basic shape applique dies as well as a long die of triangles and a long strip die. You will need to buy long cutting plates to work with the dies. The cutter and dies should be out at spring market although I’m hoping I can get a hold of some to have at HMQS and MQS.

Here’s what some of our class members came up with – remember these are works in progress:

Joyce's Circles

Pam's Hearts

Darla's Heart Block

Sharon's Flower Circles - this was done with one set of Spellbinder Dies

Next month:  Painting sunrises and sunsets with Tsukineko Inks.

I’d love to hear your comments on this project. If you’d like to try some die cuts without purchasing a machine I’ll have kits for both the Flower Quilt Block and Planets Collide on my site – http://www.QuiltedArtsStudio.com soon.

See you next month!

-I’ve tried many times to format this so I wouldn’t have words hanging in between the pictures or sentences broken up in the middle but it eludes me.  I guess what I see when I edit is larger than the space it fits into. Anyone with any suggestions email me 🙂