I have wanted a Gelli plate since the day I first heard about them. Gelli plate printing just looks like so much fun! I’ve read various blogs about making your own, so today I finally tried it. I used the recipe by The Frugal Crafter as I wanted one that didn’t have to be kept in the fridge.
The ingredients. Of course I bought too much of everything as I am hopeless at estimating amounts!
I gained a litle helper pretty quickly, as you tend to get in this house. He helped mix everything together.. “What does it smell like Cam?”… I think you can guess!!. It does have quite a strong alcohol smell.
I had heard that it is better to line the tray with plastic wrap as it makes it easier to get out. I popped it in the fridge for a couple of hours and then got impatient so took it out to start playing!. It did get fairly damaged towards the end so I think I should have left it longer.
All finished and ready to play.
I started with just some basic colours and shapes, just to get the hang of it.. it all soon got a bit carried away.
We soon picked up another helper and it was ON!
I only had acrylic paints, so that’s what we used, over and over again.
We did get some quite pretty patterns in the end.
We did encounter a few problems along the way. I discovered pretty quickly that the edges of the plate stick very badly to the paper unless you pad paints all the way up to and down the sides of the block. I’m not sure if this was just because I pulled it out of the fridge early or if it would do this anyway. We did actually completely destroy the plate by the end of the afternoon. The boys weren’t particularly gentle with it so it was full of holes. The great thing about this recipe is that when this happens you can simply melt it down and re set it. It is currently sitting back in the fridge. This time it will be over night, so we’ll see if that makes a difference to it’s durability. To melt it down, I just broke it up into a saucepan and put on the cooktop on low. It only took about 5 mins. You can also do it for a minute or so in the microwave.
I’m going to try with some fabric paints onto fabric.. new fabrics for my journals I’m thinking 🙂
A while ago I posted that I was entering the Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition, well, here it is, my finished A5 Journal cover.
It was made with this scrap pack,
I arranged and stitched the scraps then free motion quilted and hand stitched over the top. It is quilted onto cotton batting and has a cotton lining. I added the buttons at the last minute as an extra bit of fun. I love the large orange vintage one, I have had it in my stash for a while, waiting for the perfect item!
Inside detail, I added some plain orange cotton for the flaps to hold the book in.
I’ve been playing with some new techniques again today. I love the randomness of randomness so I have been randomly stitching strips of fabrics together then randomly stitching and cutting those strips. I wanted to try to get the hang of curves in the fabric as well as inserts so my randomness included both of these.
I have used just about every blue fabric in my stash, from vintage sheets to bits of upcycled clothing to canvas and quilting cotton. The red strips are satin that has been folded and inserted, so that it stands out from the cloth. It’s a great way to use up some of my vast stash of fabrics.
At the moment it is nothing more than a piece of fabric, I wanted to sample these techniques for an idea I had for the next competition that I want to enter..I have a few lined up this year!
Excuse the stray threads, I haven’t really finished with it yet. This is just a small section, I got a bit carried away so it is quite a large piece. I may well quilt it up and see what happens….
I have just finished this small art quilt. It is for a small competition in West Australia. It is a challenge competition, where they send a piece of fabric and you must use 75% of the fabric in your quilt. Great I thought, that will be a different challenge for me!. Until I received the piece of fabric and hated it!. It is a really blah pink colour with quite a boring print..uninspired right from the start!.
I have finished it ..finally..after many false starts, cutting up and restitching and thinking maybe I just wouldn’t do it!. I couldn’t just start again completely once I’d begun as of course I had to use the bit of fabric that I had already stitched and cut!. I still don’t really like this piece but here it is!
The theme was “City Scene” so I thought I’d try stitching the scene onto the pink to somewhat cover it’s blahness. there is actually a fair bit of detail in there, little park benches and people etc….it still didn’t really inspire me after finishing but as I said I now HAD to use it!. There mulitple layers with all the cutting and restitching, so it does have a fair bit of texture to it as well..which I do like!.. We weren’t allowed to alter the fabric in any way otherwise I think I may just have painted over it LOL. Anyway, there it is, warts and all.
On a more positive note, my “Looking Out the Window” quilt arrived home today from it’s sojourn at the National Wool Museum..it’s funny how you can get so emotionally attached to these things..I was very happy to see her back. 🙂
Well, it’s finished!. This is the journal made from all the bits of fabric that I have been playing with, as well as some of my aged shibori. This one has been hand and free motion machine quilted onto cotton batting with a vintage fabric lining. The flaps to hold the book in are navy cotton as is the binding. I also added some strips of 100% wool variegated slub yarn.
I decided that It needed the cord and button tie to suit the aged look of the fabric. Unfortunately the buttons aren’t real bone, but we can’t have everything!
I had a thought the other day, so went to seek out my grandmothers old suitcase, buried deep in the back of the garage. In it, as I had thought, I discovered most of the samples I had made during my time studying textiles in 1989-90. These included lots of hand weaving and a mound of hand sewn and dyed Shibori samples. Some of these are now beautifully aged having spent 20 years in an old 50’s suitcase! I had dragged that suitcase around with me from house to house and literally forgot what was inside..until my brilliant thought….
This shows the mound but not the gorgeousness of this find! So much fabulous fabric to work with..
I recently borrowed a book called ” Stitch, Cloth, Paper and Paint” by Angie Hughes from my local library. I am a huge book borrower, especially art and textiles books….always a bookworm at heart. I still can’t help but get upset when my sun uses Google for homework and doesn’t look it up at the library lol.. Anyway, this book has some great techniques in it, so I decided to use some of my new sun printed fabric to try one.
It’s very simple really and I’m sure plenty of you out there already do it, but I have always been nervous about doing too much with the tension dial on my machine. This technique involves turning the tension really high then stitching circles or spirals.. The high tension distorts the fabric beautifully without misforming the stitches, so it adds a lovely texture to the spirals.
Here is my pebble printed fabric before..
And after stitching.. normal tension in the bottom corner so it’s flat.. then the highest towards the top.
I have stitched it with some of my new rusted fabric and some of my gorgeous old shibori.. Not finished yet, but you get the idea.
Following on from my sun printing episode, I decided to torture my samples a bit more and add some rust. I have quite an extensive rusty objects collection from the days when I studied Sculpture. I used to create works from found objects and I loved rust!
The leaves sample from my sun print experiment wasn’t very exciting so I thought I’d add some of my rusty friends to it to add some zing.
I put it in a bed of plastic so that it would slow down the drying a bit. I also sprinkled it with a little salt to enhance the rusting.
Finished..love the pretty flower
Now to cut it up and sew it….
I have been having a load of fun this week, playing around with staining and printing fabrics, fiddling with thread tension and so much more!
I’ll start with my first bit of fun. I decided that I would finally have a go at sun printing. I had heard that you can do it with straight acrylic paints, and don’t need the flash proper paint, so as we are a little cash strapped at the moment I thought I’d give it a go. I started by painting all over my sample fabrics with basic acrylic paints. In some parts I used quite thick paint and others very watered down. I also sprayed some parts with water so that it would create a nice effect of it’s own.
All the bits ready to go. I just used what I had to hand just to see what would work
Painted and drying. The first I have layered with grass and a piece of lace fabric. The paint also soaked nicely into the lace 🙂
The bottom ones I covered with leaves and pebbles. Then left to dry in the hot, hot sun..
Leaves ..not great but still interesting
Lace..a bit hard to see in the photo but the pattern is really quite pretty, parts are very subtle and others quite strong.
Grass, very subtle but pretty
The large finished piece..unintentional but looks like a landscape to me..
The back of the leaves piece. I painted them on the pebblecrete out the back..they now have a lovely impression of the pebbles on the fabric…and paint on the pebblecrete!! ooops
So. all in all I think it was a success. whether or not the results would have been better with the real paint I don’t know, but I did get some marking with acrylics. The best sections were where the paint was quite thick, not watered down too much so I’ll work on that in the future. I (and my kids) also had fun waiting for the paint to dry….
I have done more to most of these pieces now but that will have to wait for another day……