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Traveling Handmade

I’m taking a big trip in only three weeks. A big trip to Europe. On a boat. On a river! So I’ve been making some things to take with me. Today I finished my custom luggage tags and two weeks ago I made a new crossbody totebag.

I took the totebag on a trial run to DC for the March for Science, which was April 22nd. It was a great experience, even with all the rain. I also got to spend some extra time in DC, seeing the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial Museum. These are all places that didn’t exist the last time I was in DC, which is several decades ago.  I didn’t make it to the new African-American Cultural Museum, which was also on my list. I just ran out of energy!

See us at CraftAlife.comIt’s so easy to do this, with any custom text like address or email or phone number. The hardest part is deciding, gee, which of these many fonts do I want! Do you want a step by step description of how to do it? It will have to wait until I’m back from vacation in mid-June, but let me know.

Screen Printing with Dye and a Silhouette, at

How to Make Great Screens for your Fiber Reactive Dye Printing – Part 2!

So somehow it’s been a month since part 1 of this post.  I’ll blame it on the quilt I needed to complete for my niece’s wedding. Which turned out great.  I’ll post about that soon.  But back to screen printing with dye.

Here is where we left off, with the screen complete and ready to use.

Screen Printing with Dye and a Silhouette, at

The next step is to prepare the 100% cotton t-shirt for dyeing.  This is an old shirt I just grabbed from my drawer.  It’s purple, and the dye I plan to use is black, so I think it will show well.  Always remember that dyes are additive, meaning that if you take a yellow shirt and add blue dye, you are going to get a green image.

Screen Printing with Dye and a Silhouette, at

How to Make Great Screens for your Fiber Reactive Dye Printing – Experiment #1

I’ve been on a voyage of experimentation, trying to understand how I can make a very detailed but easy to make screen for dye printing on fabric. We wanted a lot of flexibility with the screens, and we wanted them to be reusable and easily washed out. The method needed to work with very detailed designs as well as those with fewer precise cuts. I didn’t want to get into photo-resist screenprinting.  Having a good space for exposing a screen and washing out the resist was a problem. Here’s a peek at experiment 1:

Screen Printing with Dye and a Silhouette, at

The method we’ve been testing gets us 80% off the way to where we want to go. There is some fine tuning that we hope to present soon, but here’s what we have so far.  This is printing with fiber reactive thickened dye on cotton, but I’m sure this is all applicable to using inks or even some paints.  Thickened dye is just what we do.

New Bee Quilt, and a Sad Day

My quilting bee has made another fantastic quilt this year, for the guild’s Heritage Day auction.  It turned out just wonderfully, even if it is a bit traditional for our tastes.  We started with some fabric that was donated – a kit with no directions. It was all blue and tan (very blah), so we added some red, and I made a design for it, based on the fabric we had.  The border fabric was a no-brainer, as it had a wide border design.  There are 25 star blocks in the middle in alternating colors, a couple smaller borders and the big border.  We sewed all the borders together as a unit and attached them at one time to the sides, before mitering the corners as a single unit. That was Noi’s very good idea.  I think this made it so much easier. I think everyone in the bee played a big role in the quilt. We had several ‘sew-together’ days, as well as block kits that folks took home with them.

Click along to see the queen size quilt and to understand our sadness.