Let me be the first to admit that I have a LARGE stash of fabrics, and probably 80% of those are cotton quilting fabrics. This would be fine and dandy if I was a prolific quilter, but most of the time I don’t even think of myself as a quilter (but that’s a subject for another post). There are a couple of problems with my stash. Let me review:

  1. I will not/cannot live long enough to sew all my fabric. This is no biggie – many fabric addicts share this problem. (note the addict theme sneaking in again.) Some don’t even regard it as a problem. I want to sew as much of my fabric as I can, making quilts for my family and good friends. This is not a problem.
  2. The problem is that I would also like to use fabric of my creation, fabric that I have printed myself. It does not seem reasonable to go out and buy 1,000 meters (or 1,093.61 yards for those not sucked into the metric system) of plain fabric so that I can start dying and printing my own. No, no, no. I am far too practical for that.

So (or sew?) what to do? I have decided to start printing on top of my existing fabric. Many of these fabrics are prints. I don’t even like all of them anymore. I keep trying to pull out the ones I don’t want to use, to give to people making charity quilts. I do try. But I can see the potential in almost all my fabric! It is unbelievable how my mind works, and a little bit scary at the same time.

The silk screen printing class gave me a taste of what I might be able to do. I have experimented with more silk screening and stamping images on fabric. I’m getting some interesting results and some good ideas. This summer I am taking part in a residency program at the Alberta College of Art and Design. For three months I will have access to their fantastic print studio, dark room and photo emulsion vacuum table. I would like to print all the fabric that I can and then get busy sewing in the fall. Here are a few of the samples I’m working with, first showing the original fabric and then with some of what I’ve done over top.

brick printed fabric printed bricks crocodile fabric printed crocodiles dotted fabric starburst print carrot print carrot print 1 carrot print 2

I’m less than thrilled with the crocodile fabric, but it was pretty strange to start with. Keep in mind that these are experiments, and that the fabric will be cut into thin strips to be used in quilts. Of course the crocodile fabric might end up as paint rags. You never know.

9 thoughts

  1. This is just smart thing to do. There’s no point of getting “virginal” material for testing purposes when you have something you can use at home. Out of these, the carrot thing is definitely something I’d use for a sewing project.


  2. Terri, I also have tubs of quilting material left over from my quilting days. I keep thinking I’ll get back to it. I never even dreamed of making my own fabric. Very cool!


  3. You never know, you might end up with a nice stash of white fabrics, just like some of your friends. Hee,hee


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