From Block Print to Baby Quilt


I recently made a baby quilt out of one of my block print illustrations. It's neat to think about all the stages involved in making something like this. I list them here so you can get a peek behind the process...

 1. It begins with an idea... 

2. ...which I then sketch out on tracing paper.

3. After refining the sketch to a point where I'm satisfied with every detail,

4. I transfer the final drawing onto a block of wood.

5. At this point, I carve the image.

6. Once the carving is complete, I ink the surface of the block... 

7. ...and print it onto paper.

8. When the ink on the paper is dry, I scan the block print image into my computer,

9. make refinements in Photoshop,

10. and save it as a JPEG file.

11. Over at my Spoonflower shop, I upload the JPEG,

12. select the amount and type of fabric I want the file to be printed on,

13. and purchase it.  

14. A short time later the fabric is shipped and arrives on my doorstep,

15. at which point I lay it over batting, which I lay over the backing cloth.

16. I pin the three layers together,

17. free motion quilt it on my sewing machine,

18. and bind the edges.


Below, my favorite thing about printmaking:

I love...

I love...

the anticipation...

the anticipation...

of pulling...

of pulling...

a print!

a print!

This one has been scanned, opened in Photoshop, and colored blue.

This one has been scanned, opened in Photoshop, and colored blue.

As an alternate, magenta.

As an alternate, magenta.


I go with the blue for my quilt top and have the image digitally printed onto KONA cotton at Spoonflower.

See the quilt making process in this blog post tutorial.

See finished quilt below!


How I Make My Hand-Stamped Fabric


I haven't had too much experience with stamping on fabric, but I do have experience with relief printmaking. In general, I prefer to explore a process (as long as it's fairly simple) before learning the proper way to do it. That way, I'm driven by what works for the specific needs of my project, with the added result of keeping my mind open to exploring alternative routes. Here's how I went about making my hand-stamped fabric...


Hand Stamped Fabric

These photos may look familiar to you if you follow me on Instagram.  I had posted them a little while back as I was printing them, but  here they are all together - a happy family. I had carved the stamps from rubber, and printed on cotton fabric with permanent, archival ink.  Still deciding what to sew with these. Each piece is about 8" square, so whatever I make, it needs to be on the smaller side. Suggestions?