Recently, I started a club called Craft Lab, where each month a group of people gather to make something by hand together. One motivation for starting the group was to spend time being creative with like-minded people, since crafting for me is usually a solitary activity. I get to be social and crafty, without sacrificing one for the other. Another reason was to motivate myself to try new applied arts, pushing my creativity outside its comfort zone. And finally, the group gives me another forum to get inspired by the work of other people. It’s thrilling to watch my friends’ artworks unfold.

At our inaugural meeting we printed on fabric using rubber blocks, a modern substitute for linoleum, which is much harder to cut. The basic steps are to create a simple silhouetted design, transfer it onto the block, carve away what you don’t want to print, ink the block with a brayer, press the block onto the fabric, and voilà! printed fabric.

Here is a sampling of what we made:

Maribeth Pomerantz made this incredible design of foxes and birds,
then repeated it for an all-over pattern.
Fran Duncan waltzed these jaunty espresso makers across her fabric.

Jen Smith repeated a seashell motif, connecting each print
to create a beautiful, almost abstract pattern.

 

Carleen Madigan repeated a beautifully simplified botanic print
across the edge of a towel. It’s going to make a great Mother’s Day gift!

 

Sarah Guare wins the cute award for these ladybugs crawling across her towels.
I printed a rooster motif onto vintage fabric that I’ll sew into dish towels
once I add a bit of detail in other colors, like a sun and a swash of ground. Here they are hanging in my office to dry.

I find it interesting that we all brought similar fabric: new linen with a vintage tea-dyed hue, actual vintage cloth in a natural color, or flour-sack dish towels. Something is in the air!

Alethea Morrison

Alethea Morrison is the author of Homegrown Honey Bees. She lived in San Francisco with her husband, photographer Mars Vilaubi, before stepping into the wild yonder of rural Massachusetts… See Bio

Articles of Interest

  • Craft Project: Knit the Sky Scarf

    Craft Project: Knit the Sky Scarf

    In unusual times, crafting can be powerful therapy. We’re invited to slow down, focus on the project at hand, and be fully present in the moment. Lea Redmond’s inventive Knit the Sky scarf is a fun and satisfying way to combine crafting with mindful nature … Read More

  • The Gift of a Quilt Is an Act of Love

    The Gift of a Quilt Is an Act of Love

    There is something magical about being part of a practice that traces back through the centuries. The history of quilting is one of countless stories and untold hours with needle, thread, and cloth. From a utilitarian point of view, the fact that we still make … Read More

  • Weaving with Paper: Swedish Stars

    Weaving with Paper: Swedish Stars

    Paper opens a whole new world of weaving. These Swedish stars are made using a traditional Scandinavian paper weaving technique. You can choose to work with the most ubiquitous of papers — newspaper, brown craft paper, maps, sheet music, or even pages from used books. Read More

  • Tapestry Weaving: Using a Cartoon

    Tapestry Weaving: Using a Cartoon

    The world of tapestry weaving offers remarkable possibilities. It requires certain skills, but this shouldn’t keep you from dipping your toes into that water. Many of those skills aren’t difficult to learn. More important, those remarkable possibilities are very intriguing! There are two basic facts … Read More

by

Buying Options

We don't sell books directly through storey.com. If you'd like to buy , please visit one of the online retailers above or give us a call and we'll take care of you. Support local businesses when you can!

Storey Direct: 1-800-441-5700

Read More at Good Reads