The Dilemma of Fabric Printing

Fabric from the book Playful Fabric Printing

For those of us who love to add pattern to plain fabric, there is a dilemma – not a problem, not a challenge, but a real dilemma: how do we cut into the beautiful and artful cloth we’ve spent so much time and artistic energy creating?

Printed fabrics from the book Playful Fabric Printing

One of the things I learned when reading through Carol Soderlund and Melanie Testa’s book, Playful Fabric Printing, is that creating a personal line of fabric in the print studio opens up an entirely new opportunity for design. And who wouldn’t want to design their own line of fabric? In addition, what designer would not be thrilled to see their artwork actually used in a quilt?

Whether you are a beginner to surface design or an expert dye artist, you’ll find that your stash of art cloth will quickly expand. From Thermofax screen prints to monoprints, from hand dyed yardage to the richly layered prints created in Melanie and Carol’s style, prepare to have many options to work with.

A brayer is one way to apply paint to fabric.

We love the quilt Melanie created to showcase the many prints she made for this book. It is simple. It is elegant. It is sophisticated. And most importantly, it lets the fabric shine. The simple zigzag pattern allows the subtle variations in each fabric’s scale, color, and value do all of the work. The block is one of the simplest traditional quilt blocks there is – the half-square triangle. With a quick rotation, change in block size, or subtle value change, any quilter could make this pattern their own.

All you need is a collection of hand-printed fabrics, a rotary cutter, and – here’s where you need to take a deep breath – the courage to cut up your stash.

Start playing with fabric printing today!

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