TREND WATCH

Wanna cre­ate your very own fab­ric line? Sure you do! Holly DeG­root ex­plains how…

Love Patchwork & Quilting - - Love Patchwork & Quilting -

We all love keep­ing up with the beau­ti­ful new fab­ric lines com­ing out all the time, but I’ve been see­ing more and more tal­ented quil­ters and sewists cre­at­ing their own fab­rics, too! Dye­ing, block print­ing, sten­cil­ing, screenprinting, dig­i­tal print­ing and paint­ing are all amaz­ing ways to take a blank piece of fab­ric and make it your own.

FAB­RIC DYE­ING

There are lots of meth­ods to dye fab­ric and it’s re­ally fun to ex­per­i­ment with! You can use nat­u­ral or chem­i­cal dyes, such as Pro­cion dyes, both with great re­sults. It takes a lit­tle prac­tise and tweak­ing to get the hang of it, and my best ad­vice for dye­ing fab­ric is to be open to what­ever you end up with! Rather than hav­ing a par­tic­u­lar shade of pink that you just ab­so­lutely have to end up with, be happy with what­ever pink de­cides to hap­pen that day! This makes the process a lot more en­joy­able, es­pe­cially when you’re just start­ing out. There are sev­eral great books to guide you through the process, in­clud­ing Malka Dubrawsky’s book, Color

Your Cloth, and the new book by Kris­tine

Ve­jar, The Mod­ern Nat­u­ral Dyer.

You can make a bun­dle of your own hand-dyed fab­rics and piece them to­gether like you would any other quilt. Com­mer­cially avail­able white-on-white fab­rics are re­ally use­ful for this method, since the white ink will still show up when you dye the fab­ric an­other color. You can also try dip- dye­ing, ice dye­ing or shi­bori tech­niques to make your own prints.

PRINT­ING

Sten­cil­ing is so sim­ple, you’ve prob­a­bly al­ready done it be­fore. All you need is a sten­cil, stip­ple brush, paint and fab­ric. This is a great method to start out with and prac­tise cre­at­ing your own de­signs.

Block Print­ing is a great, easy way to play with de­sign­ing your own fab­ric! Carve your own block with just a few sup­plies and trans­fer it to fab­ric, cre­at­ing the re­peat by hand. The im­per­fec­tions cre­ated by this process only add to the beauty of the fin­ished prod­uct!

Screenprinting is an­other method that you can use at home and it al­lows you to make mul­ti­ples of your de­signs quicker than block print­ing. It does take some ad­di­tional sup­plies though, and an ex­po­sure unit for cre­at­ing the screens. You

Get your cre­ative juices flow­ing and trans­form your fab­ric with sten­cil­ing, block print­ing, screenprinting, dig­i­tal de­sign­ing or paint­ing. Why not try one with a group of crafty friends? can build a unit your­self or pur­chase al­ready burned screens from a lo­cal screenprinting com­pany.

If you want to try your hand at de­sign­ing fab­ric dig­i­tally, Spoon­flower is a great place to start! There may be a bit of a learn­ing curve when it comes to de­sign pro­grams like Adobe Il­lus­tra­tor or Photoshop, but the help sec­tion of the Spoon­flower web­site (or the new Spoon­flower Hand­book!) will walk you through the process. You can sell your own fab­ric in your shop, use it to cre­ate your own fin­ished items, or share your de­signs in the Spoon­flower shop so that oth­ers can or­der their own fab­ric with your de­signs.

PAINT­ING

Paint­ing fab­ric by hand is an­other method of mak­ing your own de­signs and one I find es­pe­cially ther­a­peu­tic! You can use fab­ric paint – such as Jacquard Tex­tile Color, which gives the fab­ric al­most a dyed ef­fect as the paint pen­e­trates the fab­ric – or use screenprinting ink if you want the de­sign to sit on the sur­face. You can even make a beau­ti­ful whole­cloth quilt, just by paint­ing yardage with an in­ter­est­ing de­sign!

JUST PLAY

All of th­ese tech­niques take some prac­tise to find what works for you. Play around, make a mess and just en­joy the process at first! With some trial and er­ror, you’ll soon be cre­at­ing your own beau­ti­ful fab­rics to use in your sewing projects. You might just find a new pas­sion, too!

RE­SOURCES

In ad­di­tion to those listed above, there are sev­eral books on the mar­ket right now that ex­plain the process of us­ing most of th­ese meth­ods. Here are a few that I have per­son­ally found help­ful: Be­yond Cot­ton by Krista Fleck­en­stein Stamp Sten­cil Paint by Anna Joyce

Screen Print­ing at Home by Karen Lewis Mas­ter­ing the Art of Fab­ric Print­ing and

De­sign by Lau­rie Wis­brun

A Field Guide to Fab­ric De­sign by

Kim Kight

IN­SPI­RA­TION

Here are some In­sta­gram­mers to fol­low for in­spi­ra­tion on mak­ing your own fab­ric! @an­na­joycedesign

@kristafleck

@karen­lewis­tex­tiles

@folk­fibers

@jen­hewett

@cot­to­nand­flax

@bookhou

@hel­lospin­spin

PLAY AROUND, MAKE A MESS AND JUST EN­JOY THE PROCESS! WITH SOME TRIAL AND ER­ROR, YOU’LL SOON BE CRE­AT­ING YOUR OWN BEAU­TI­FUL FAB­RICS TO USE IN YOUR SEWING PROJECTS.

Tie dye­ing is an age-old method of per­son­al­is­ing your fab­ric – and it’s fun!

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