Monday, April 28, 2014

Welcome my Guest Blogger - Lisa Reber

I am delighted to introduce my Guest Blogger today. Meet Lisa Reber of Dippy Dyes!

 Lisa is a dyer and surface design artist working with textiles. After many years of exploring a variety of crafts, first quilting and then dyeing took over her life beginning in the mid 1990's.
 Originally self-taught, continuing education in surface design has allowed Lisa to incorporate methods including discharge (color removal), texturing polyester and dyeing it with disperse dyes, direct applicaton of dyes and discharge agents, and illumination with vat dyes, which both remove and add color at the same time. The addition of ink, embroidery, beads and quilting further augment the surface of her work. In 2014 Lisa's work - fabrics and quilts both - will be included in three books authored by Linda Seward, Mary Kerr & Shannon Shirley. And in 2012 she was invited to participate in a dyeing Master Class taught by the internationally renowned Carol Soderlund. Earlier publications include articles in Quiltlers Newsletter and American Quilter magazines, and her applique work was featured in the books " Artful Applique ll" and " Applique Takes Wing", both by Jane Townswick. 

Please join me in welcoming Lisa!

Make a Print of Your Furry Friend

In dyeing fabric, one thing I’ve stayed away from until now is screen printing. But this year I’ve learned about a new to me technique – making silk screen stencils with house paint. Here’s one example.

Because I wanted to make something specific for Nan’s blog, I found a picture of one of our Golden Oldies, Dudley. 

 The next step is easy – tracing. I put a print-out of the photo underneath a sheet of tracing paper and drew lines around the major shapes – eyes, ears, nose & mouth. 

 Next, I used a heavy marker to trace over the pencil lines.  After filling in some dark areas – the eyes, nose and lips, I put the tracing under a piece of sheer fabric. 

In this picture  you can see the tracing paper picture underneath, the sheer fabric on top, and a corner of a piece of white paper slid part way between the two.

 Here  you can see the sheer fabric with pencil lines all over it. There’s masking tape on the edge to control fraying.What you need to remember when making the screen is any place that doesn’t get painted will let color through. So you need to paint anything that was not a dark line or area in the drawing. Any kind of water-based house paint works – indoor or outdoor – just don’t paint it on too heavily. Before painting, the screen needs to be stretched over open space. That can be done with a hoop or a cardboard box.

 I used a Q-Snap frame. I started by using a small brush for good control in the small areas, and painted the details around the lines. Then I filled in larger areas using a bigger brush.


 After letting it dry for about an hour, I took a close look  and found poorly filled areas. I painted them again, so that I wouldn’t have spots on my print.

Here’s what the finished screen looks like. 
I only partially painted the cheek, tongue and nose so there would be some dark areas that weren’t solidly filled. And there are dark spots on the original doggie – he liked to chew rocks when he was little!

Because it’s not stretched permanently in a frame, it’s as much like a stencil as a screen, but unlike cut stencil, you don’t have to worry about areas that float. That is, parts that aren’t attached, like the center of the letter O don’t need ‘bridges’ to hold them in place.

When the paint has dried for several hours, it needs to be heat-set. I ironed mine between two layers of cotton fabric at a medium heat. Parchment paper is another option. Then you’re ready to print. Because I’m a dyer, I used thickened dye on soda-soaked fabric. You can also use textile paints, like Setacolor, or ink, like Tsukineko ink that has been thickened with Aloe Vera. Or use paint or ink with a stencil brush – just whatever you have on hand.  Here’s the completed print.
There are still some spots on his forehead that need to be filled in. Oh – if you use paint, be sure to wash the screen right away, or the screen will get filled in where you want to see lines.

For more info on this technique, see

Complex Cloth: The Workshops DVD by Jane Dunnewold

Screen Printing: Layering textiles with colour, texture & imagery by Clair Benn & Leslie Morgan

Thank you so much for showing us this technique. Love Dudley - he is so cute for real and as a stencil. What a precious face and I love the story about him chewing rocks. 
 If you have any questions or want to learn more, just go to Lisa's Blog

 I will be introducing May's Guest Bloggers in my newsletter so sign up. There will also be specials offered with every newsletter, so add your name to the list.
Until next time...


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