screen printing

Aug 032017

Recall how I said I’d be working on the latest quilt over the weekend to get it done?
Remember when I explained that I had enough fabric to last decades?


When I went to bed on Friday night, I had the perfect vision of a zip pouch made of a fabric, the print of the fabric was a bit grunky, the background was a deep, sweet red. The zipper on the pouch was black. I was enamoured.

So, instead of doing what I said I would, I spent the weekend making this fabric design.

The red I wanted doesn’t exist in Kona cotton, so I took three yards the darkest hot pink that does exist and overdyed it with cherry red. It took a lot of time, but the color was perfect. Meanwhile, I drew the design, scanned, printed, exposed screens and mixed up printing inks.
Making fabric
It took another day to get the printing done, there was a lot of mess. It is excellent! Just what I envisioned.

Making fabric
This is the first layer alone, in a silver-glitter white combo.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
Then, using my max-visibility zip pouch method (calling it a pattern seems wrong, since it can be made in any size instead of a limited pattern) I made a zip pouch from my new fabric. It is EXACTLY like I saw it and wanted it.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
The start tab has a cheeky eyelet for hanging.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
The interior lining is a thick, silver glitter star print.

Now I have in my possession the precise thing I saw in my head. I don’t think I can appropriately convey how happy, satisfied, and generally blissed-out this makes me. I swear I get a warm feeling in my chest when I see it and hold it. As well, I have somewhere to corral my drawing pencils for my latest drawing sketchbook. To maximize chances of success, I made two in one go; the second is listed in my Etsy shop, if this is somehow your dream, too.

After all that, I did finish the quilt; although, it is awaiting the final de-lint and de-thread session before photography.

Aaaah. Excellent.

Apr 152014

I’d mentioned I joined a swap on Now that it is finished and there is no way I can ruin any surprise, I’ll share about it.

The swap was for a printed fat quarter. Fat quarters, for you non-fabric crafters, are a quarter yard of fabric but instead of a 9″ by 44″ strip (a straight cut of a quarter) the fabric is cut at a half yard, then cut in half again so you end up with a 18″x22″ piece of fabric, which gives you more of the print and is often a more usable size. The printing could be done any way, screens, lino or other blocks, sun printing, whatever. Given my recent tribulations with the very old Yudu emulsion sheets I was determined to give it another shot, so I chose screen printing. Although, I have to say that I am itching to carve something lately. Anyway…

My partner for the swap was sheepBlue, who has a nice blog here. I was so lucky she was my partner – if you read her blog you’ll quickly see that we are kindred spirits in our ‘likes’. We agreed on two FQs for the swap.

Here are the ones she sent me:
Fat quarter from Sheepblue.
An undertakers and embalmers print ad in charcoal on a dappled goldenrod color. The text looks great and the repeat is impeccable! I can already tell this will be one of those treasured fabrics that I parcel out carefully over the years. Right click and view in a new tab to see a larger version if you’d like to read the text.

Fat quarter from Sheepblue.
Yes! Violet bird skulls and flame flies on a shale fabric with citrine dots. I love it. I’m planning to use this in a large bag, possibly a grocery getter. I am forever forgetting (maybe embarrassed by?) the freebie or purchased reusable bags in my car when I run into the grocer, so maybe if I have a work of art like this to carry, I’ll remember.
She really came up with designs that are perfect just for me.

And, as promised:
Successful screen burn - ahhh!
A successful screen burn! I’d already coated a recovered screen in Diazo emulsion and it was ready, so I burned it. Looks great and it picked up all the details and edges. A sigh of relief. I guess those other, four year old Yudu emulsion sheets that have been curled up this whole time were really just not up to snuff for this work. To be sure, I used the Yudu emulsion sheets that I bought only two years ago and they worked fine on the next two screens. I did some things differently this time – I made sure they were very flat (by crushing them under a slab of wood for two days) and I skipped the Yudu fan; I put the screens in the makeshift darkroom with a fan blowing right on them. They dried completely in about an hour. So the emulsion sheets work and I exposed them with the Yudu machine easily. I have two more sheets, although I don’t know how old they are, and I’ll maybe try them, but I think I’ll just use the Yudu screens with the Diazo or other brand liquid emulsion. The sheets are precut at 10×14″, but the screens themselves are more like 11×15.5″, which leaves a lot of wasted screen. Using liquid, I can go all the way to the edge of the screens, as you can see in the above picture. Despite the sheet shortcomings, the Yudu machine works great as a screen-exposing station, light table, and light-tight screen storage area. Worth it.

Based on the questionnaire I received I came up with a few ideas.
Fat quarter I made for Sheepblue.
Crop circles! She had listed as inspirations alien abductions and geometric, radiating circles or patterns, so crop circles seemed the obvious choice. I really liked making these and I might make another, accessory screen to go with these. You know, one day when I have a project for them.

Fat quarter I made for Sheepblue.
Another inspiration was eyes. I came up with two designs for that, this one literal. I drew up an anatomical diagram of the eye and made it big! Slick liked this one enough to ask for it on a tshirt. This is the second FQ I sent to sheepBlue.

My third design, I kept for myself.
Fat quarter I made and kept for myself.
When I was thinking about different ways to draw eyes, I also thought about eye patterns, as seen on oscilloscopes. Quick explanation, overlay signal waves for comparison. Clean signals give overlapping lines and an open eye. Messy signals start to overlap imperfectly, while bad signals go all over, up to a closed eye. Many measurements can be made from such pattern displays. I made stripes of those three states and printed them. When it was done, I realized only people who’d ever used oscilloscopes or at least understood eye patterns would find this interesting; everyone else would dismiss it as a simplistic design. So, I kept this one for myself.

This was a fun, quick swap and I seriously lucked out with my partner pairing. But, now I’m trying to get ready for workshop work and the screens are all being filed away for the summer and fall. If I can ever get back to that blue quilt, I can finish it up and pack away all my sewing items, too.

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