An idea has sprung up in my head, so I’m working on something different.
I’ve seen other screen printers print on fabrics and quilt blocks, but I’m hoping to pull off printing on a finished quilt top. Actually, it would be my husband Gregg making the print magic happen. He’s been an independent screen printer for 19 years, and luckily for me I just talked him into this major project.
Screen printing is like stenciling, and it’s a very simple process to use a screen and pull a print onto fabric or a t-shirt. However, making the screen is where all the work comes in, and before you can make a screen – you need a design.
I thought I’d walk you through my process.
Here is the finished quilt top I made using Anita Grossman’s “Anita’s Arrowheads” technique for making blocks. This one measures 52″ wide x 64″ tall.
|Finished quilt top|
I spent a few days laying out these blocks till I was happy, then sewed them together and added a 3″ border just to make it a bit bigger. Once this part was done, I could play around with some of my images and see what would work best with this particular quilt top.
Adobe Illustrator is my go-to design program, then I use Photoshop to overlay my design on the quilt top photo to check design size and placement. The colors in this quilt made me think of mermaids, so I was stuck on making a mermaid image. It took a little while, but I made something I liked… unfortunately, I didn’t really like it on the actual quilt top:
It was too busy with all that background pattern, so I took it off and got this:
|Circle Dot design by Gail Weiss|
It’s a big challenge for Gregg too – we would much prefer a large format press so we could print the whole thing at the same time… but we have to work with what we got. You can see the 20 divisions above. We usually get film positives to use to make our screens, but just like film negatives, this can get expensive. Instead we are going to use transparency sheets.