Archive of ‘hand printing’ category

little linen wallets

on a whim, during a recent trip to the always-inspiring rock paper scissors I picked up the cutest pattern for a little wallet.  it’s from valori wells and the whole pattern fits on a little card called a ‘sewing card‘.  it’s a clever design and a simple project and it has completely sucked me in.  I had no real plans for making little wallets but now I can’t stop. 
detail snap on linen walletthese are the first three I made and, trust me, I have made more…I just don’t have pictures of them yet.  these three are made with the lovely hand-printed linen I received in the handprinted fabric swap at maze and vale.  these are made with fabric scraps that lamina from do a bit sent along WITH her fat quarter of handprinted fabric.  the prints are so beautiful and have a lovely quiet but lively style.   the best part is I still have an entire fat quarter of her amazing fabric left to work with!  lucky me.

wallet ducks in a row

while making these I was truly contemplating different ways to become a millionaire so that I could work exclusively with lamina’s prints.  her style is bang on…organic prints with a geometric leaning in a stunning repeat.  her color choices pop out at you but not too much and they maintain a wonderful sophistication due to being printed on linen.  it is luxurious.  I’m so happy I got exposure to her work through the fabric swap.  lamina has a great feel for color and she uses bright colors but somehow manages to keep the overall looks so soothing.  It also inspire me to keep hand printing.  nothing beats the look of hand printing, I tell you. open linen wallet

as for these wallets, they are lined with regular linen and fastened with a cowgirl snaps I got on etsy ages ago (sorry I can’t remember where.).  I kept the grey and pink kitty one for myself and gave the other two as gifts.  linen wallet

they make great gifts…one of those nice little somethings.  I’m thinking that some of the others I made are going to be great teacher’s gifts at the end of the school year.  probably with a bit of cash inside, teachers deserve a bit of extra cash, ya know.

as an aside, thanks to everyone that entered the sew mama sew giveaway.  you are all so sweet and witty.  it took great willpower to avoid replying to everyone’s comments.  I usually like to do that but I didn’t want to mess with the random number generator by throwing in my own comments.  but, I appreciated each and every comment and was warmed by how many of you thought of others!  then again, that is crafters for you, isn’t it.  we are a good crowd.

handprinted fabric swap III :: what I received

all four of my fat quarters of beautiful fabric has arrived for the handprinted fabric swap III and I am positively thrilled. the whole thing was run by the hyper-talented leslie keating at maze and vale and I am absolutely in love with everything that I received…four beautifully hand-loved prints.  I cannot wait to carve out some time to make things with my new fabric.

at the top here are whimsical circles and sticks from kelsey at lovely and enough  and the happy kids from amy at crafty shenanigans.

fabric swap collage

and these beautiful prints are woodland animals from kerry-anne at ameliorate and seedlings from the inspiring lamina at do a bit.  lamina also sent a sweet sack of fabric scraps.  isn’t it all incredible!?  these are really talented ladies and I feel so lucky to have had such a great group. be sure to check out each of their blogs.

there was something really special about this swap.  I love swapping pretty much anything handmade, I think swaps are a really wonderful way to share the creative spirit. this feeling is ten-fold when swapping printed fabric because it takes such care and thought to make it.  you are really receiving the direct output of someone’s creative process.  I love that.  and because it is fabric, it’s as if they hand it over to you with an unspoken “you take it from here”.  I feel certain that whatever I make with these prints will reverberate with the community spirit that brought them into being.

after what happened in Boston, USA yesterday this gentle, thoughtful, slow and careful giving and receiving feels really good and even healing.  thank you so much lovely swap mates.

for the love of hand printing

my hand printing is complete for the hand printed fabric swap.  but I can see, from where I am standing, this is the beginning of a long road; not the end.  it is undeniable.  there is great joy in making your own prints on fabric and there will be more of it in my future.  the design, the idea, the execution…the whole thing is wonderful.  I remember reading once that the eye is drawn to a slight amount of imperfection because just a bit of imperfection expresses something that perfection cannot and that thing that is expressed…that thing is the joy of making.  hand stamps

the imperfection inherent in a hand printed item (a smudge here, a less than perfect ink transfer there) is a message sent from maker to recipient saying…”this little bit right here.  that one.  that is when I was joyfully making.  and now, you have that joy, it’s for you.”   it makes me so happy to literally ship that off into the world (the US, New Zealand, Australia and the UK, to be exact).    I had so much fun making different kinds of stamps and trying them out.  hand printed for fabric swapI have to admit a fondness for hand stamping on linen but I also liked it on pure white cotton, too.    linen trianglesin fact, I had so much fun hand printing that I started hand printing white fabric paint on little remnants of linen I had in my stash and I turned those remnants into cd cases to house a playlist of my favorite songs.   those song are, right now, destined for some of my dear, faraway friends.  I ran out of linen.


and that is how the last of my own linen filled with my favorite music was shipped out into the world from Los Angeles to Malta.  not a bad adventure for the beginnings of a humble hand-printing journey.

presenting :: the pillow as an excuse to handprint something

oh yes, the desire to hand print has taken over.  this little pillow is my most recent creation.  I hand printed using my ‘lily pads’ stamp; white paint onto teal fabric.

piped pillow


there is a zipper on the bottom but if I make a pillow again I will put it on the back.  it was just a bit tricky (and annoying) to fiddle with a zipper and the piping.  and, it doesn’t look as professional down by that zipper as I would like it to.

it was my first time hand-making the piping.  I have yards and yards of cording and no piping.  since I will take any excuse to avoid the fabric store (mostly because I have so little self-control!) I thought it was a nice opportunity to make piping for myself.  it was awfully simple, actually.  just stitch together bias cut strips and sew them around the cording.

handstamped pillow

for now the pillow is hanging out on our bed but someday soon (yes.  I’ve been saying this for years. no exaggeration.) I’m hoping to remodel our porch and make a nice set of cushions and pillows that looks nice with this pillow for some porch furniture.  hand stamped pillow in action



unrelated:  for local friends, I will be opening registration for sewing classes tomorrow morning around 8:30am.  check back here to see the offerings and link to registration! if you have liked my Facebook page or added your name to my email list I will be sending a direct notice in the morning! can’t wait to see you in class!!


playing with hand printing

I’ve been a wee bit obsessive about hand printing lately.

hand print options

it probably started back when we did the stamping art project with the kids for valentines day.  but, it became urgent (URGENT!) when I bought three little kraft paper covered moleskin books.  it’s not the kind of thing I normally buy, moleskins seems like such an indulgence.  but, I kept having ideas that I was certain I would remember and didn’t need to write down…well, you know how that story ends.  so, I caved and bought these little books that will fit anywhere, anytime. the moleskins are filed with graph paper and the combination of a kraft paper cover and graph paper interior was like some kind of kryptonite.  I was too weak to resist.

the beautiful, blank look of kraft paper always screams WHITE PAINT at me.  so I dug up some of my old hand printing things…carving tools, etc. and I went to town decorating them.  of course, once I had made a stamp I had to try it on fabric as well

clear stamp

my favorite was actually this ‘lily pad’ design..made by cutting a foam sheet and gluing it to the clear stamp base.  I bought the clear base literally years ago and never used it, waiting for the ‘right’ project.  but, in line with my 2013 goals I pulled it out and just used it.  my habit of saving nice things is so, so ridiculous and slowly but surely it is a habit I’m breaking.

I’m pretty sure the clear base is a martha stewart product.  I really, really like it.  because the stamp is clear I can see exactly what I’m doing and line everything up well.  I’ve used wood bases before and it’s so much more difficult to line things up just right when you can’t see what you are doing. 
lily pad press

I especially wanted to be able to see what I was doing with this stamp because I didn’t print the repeat in a conventional way.  instead, I bounced around, deciding which direction to place the stamp as I went.  it made it so easy to create a one-of-a-kind design with some flow.  the picture above was just my practice/playing around effort.  I promise to share more finished projects soon.

but, the moleskins books really are making me happy.  I used regular old white tempera paint, actually stolen from the kids art cabinet.  (in case you are curious, I did use fabric paint for printing on the fabric.)  I’m already using the moleskins, I keep one in my purse.  good idea bookI named my favorite one.  it’s called “good idea!”.  because, you know what?  I noticed something.  I am excellent at recognizing when I’ve been a terrible parent and have done everything wrong;  I do a great job of berating myself over a sewing or professional failure; I even excel at noting when I’ve been an impatient friend or wife.  but, I’m not nearly as good at allowing myself the compliment of a good idea.  so, this is my good idea book.  even when I glance over at it; it says to me good idea!  it’s going to fill up with good ideas…even the bad ones will be good ones in this book. I’m starting to think I should have always carried a good idea book.

handprinting fabric swap

speaking of good ideas, I took my renewed hand printing enthusiasm and joined in a fabric swap at maze and vale.  it is hosted by the inspired and lovely leslie keating and she has been so gracious, providing tons of inspiring hand printing tutorials.  I’m so excited.  can’t wait to make something beautiful and unique with the hand printed fabric I receive.

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