Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tutorial - Screen Taping

As shown in the previous post, I have thermofax screens for sale in my Etsy shop, PGFiber2Art, and you can buy from other vendors on the web as well.  If you purchase ready made screens, you will likely have to tape them yourself before you can use them.  Taping the edges is an alternative to mounting on a frame; it is less costly and the screens take up less space for storage.  I prefer to use duct tape from the plumbing department of the local home supply store.  It is heavier weight than standard duct tape, and holds up well against water when cleaning the screens.  Here are the steps I follow when taping a screen.

Remove the screen from the paper image. Remember that the rough mesh side of the screen is the top and the smooth plastic side is the bottom.

Cut a piece of duct tape slightly longer than one of the long edges of the screen.

Flip the tape over, sticky side up, on your work surface.  Place the edge of the screen on the tape so it overlaps about a 1/4 inch.  Smooth the screen on the tape so it is adhered all the way across, with excess tape on both ends.

Carefully fold the tape in half over the edge of the screen lining up the 2 long edges of the tape. Take care to line up the edges first, before allowing the rest of the tape to meet - once it starts to stick, you won't be able to reposition it!

 Press the 2 layers of tape together, then use your fingernail to crease the folded edge so it lays flat.

Flip the screen around and tape the opposite long edge in the same way.

Trim all 4 ends of the tape even with the screen.

Turn the screen 90 degrees and tape the short ends in the same manner.

Again, trim the excess tape even with the edges of the screen.

Label the tape at the top of the screen so you know which is the top (for some designs, it will not matter which is the top); also be sure to write on the mesh side, not the plastic side.  While you can actually print from either side, the mesh side will  wear better than the plastic side.  That's it!  Your screen is ready to use!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

New Screens in Etsy Shop

We've added some new screen designs to our PG Fiber2Art Etsy shop.  Most are nature items, one new graphic image.  If there's an image you would like but don't see, let us know; we might be able to help.  All are made from our own original photos.  Here are a few of the new ones:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Tags

I haven't made many holiday projects this year, but one thing I did was make these little gift tags/ornaments.  I drew 2 small designs for thermofax screens - holly leaves and a pointsettia; printed them on red and green fabric, and then fused them to 2 1/2 inch squares of timtex, red on one side, green on the other.  After a bit of trimming, I satin stitched the edges and added some elastic cording.  A quick and easy project!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Open House at AA

We had fun today at the Artistic Artifacts open house, doing demos of screen printing, meeting enthusiastic crafters and reconnecting with previous aquaintances and students.  And of course checking out all the goodies in Judy's shop!

Above are some of the new screens we have for sale.  Coming to our Etsy shop soon!

We have 2 classes scheduled for 2013 (so far): March 2 is Turn Photos into Thermofax Screens, and April 13 is Printing with Thermofax Screens.  The first class teaches you how to manipulate a photo in Photoshop Elements to change it to a black & white image and apply filters to make it look more like a drawing than a photo.  The printing class covers all you need to know about printing technique, supplies, paints, taping screens and allows plenty of time to practice with the instructors screens. Check the Artistic Artifacts web site for more information.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Artistic Artifacts Open House

PGFiber2Art (that's Elizabeth and me!) will be participating in Artistic Artifacts Holiday Open House this coming Saturday, Dec. 1.  From the website:

"If you are in the vicinity of Alexandria, VA, you are invited to join us on Saturday, December 1 for our Annual Holiday Open House. We’ll feature class and technique demonstrations, a make & take activity, light refreshments and other festive fun! We’ll be open 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, so please stop by!"  Here's the link to the store site in case you need directions:

We will be demonstrating thermofax screen printing and will have some new screens available for sale. The new screens are not in our Etsy shop yet, so you can get them first at the Open House!  Want a sneak peak?

We have a few graphics and more nature items - plants, insects, and sea life are some of the categories.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November VCQ Meeting

Last weekend I attended our Virginia Consortium of Quilters meeting in Martinsville, VA.  In the previous post I showed some quilts from the Piedmont Arts show we attended Friday evening.  Our meeting/workshop day was held on Saturday and I took a class called Gift Bags Plus taught by Abby Geddes.  This was a fun class!  In the 5 hour class period, we made a gift bag, a zipper pouch, a notebook cover - actually, we finished all 3 of those before lunch! After lunch, we made some bonus gifts - a gift card holder and a coaster; I made 2 of each.  So it was a very productive day!  All quick and easy, but it was so nice to end the day with finished projects!

One of the other classes was focused on our VCQ charity project, which is making pillowcases for foster children in Virginia.  42 cases were completed that day.  A large number of foster children are boys, so the focus was on making cases appropriate for them. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Piedmont Arts Show - Art of the Quilt: Celebrations

Every two years, the Piedmont Arts Center in Martinsville, VA, mounts an "Art of the Quilt" show curated by Linda Fiedler.  This year's theme was Celebrations.  It was a very colorful show and included a group of challenge quilts "Inspired by the Masters", from some famous name quilters, including Mary Stori and Georgia Bonesteel.  Here are a few of my favorites.

How Do You View Time?

This was the topic of the latest postcard exchange, and above is a finished card. I started with a piece of rusted fabric cut into 3 8 1/2" x 11" sheets that I ironed onto freezer paper so that I could print text on them.  I created a page of sayings about time in various fonts, and then in order to get  3 cards out of each sheet with the printing reading horizontally on each, I turned the text into an image that I could shrink and copy with the opposite orientation on one end of the page, as shown in the pictures below.

The next step was to stencil with a clock stencil that contained several different clock images. Then I cut the large sheets into 3, 4 x 6 " pieces.  The focal point for the cards is an image from a book of African designs, one that I felt was representative of infinitiy, having no real beginning or end.  That image was screen printed in the center of each piece.  After fusing each piece to timtex, I machine stitched the central image.

  A card stock backing was fused to the back of the cards and they were finished off with a machine satin stitch on the edges.  Then mailed off to the rest of the swap group!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Baby Gifts

These ribbon blankets are a quick & easy baby gift.  Thanks to Quilting Adventures of Richmond for the instructions.  They are soft, cuddly minky fabric on one side and flannel on the other.  They are going to co-workers expecting new babies; for a change, the gifts are ready before the shower is scheduled!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Our cat Cleopatra went to kitty heaven this past week.  She'd been with us almost 15 years.  She was really my daughter's cat - she picked her out at the Humane Society when she was going into 6th grade.  But children grow up, go to college, move out, and leave the pets behind.  Not that she wasn't still attached - pets don't work out so well in apartments. So she adopted my husband as her best buddy.  She wasn't a cuddly cat - only on her terms.  In fact, she could be downright mean at times.  She didn't like strangers and let you know with hissing, growling, and swats.  But still, she was part of the family and she is missed.  No more food dishes at the bottom of the basement stairs.  No meows in front of the refrigerator.  Doors that have stayed closed for 15 years don't need to be closed anymore.  I know we'll get used to it. Right now its just hard.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Quick Project

Today I finished a quick project, a fall table runner from a Quilting Daily email. It's made from 5" squares and goes together very quickly. Straight line machine quilting and a folded over backing to bind the edges made for an easy finish. It looks good with my felted pumpkins and acorns!

Home Is Where the Quilt Is

In early October I went to the Sewing and Quilt Expo. This year's expo was very enjoyable. I missed it last year, so it was like a breath of fresh air - exceptional quilt displays and a great variety of vendors, different from the usual quilt shows. Here are a few pictures of "Home is Where the Quilt Is"; these house-shaped quilts will be auctioned in November to support the work of The Alliance for American Quilts. The auction begins on Nov.12, with a different set of quilts offered each week for 4 weeks.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Printing at Artistic Artifacts

We had a successful day at Artistic Artifacts today teaching thermofax screen printing to a lovely group of ladies.
 Here we are, getting started.

 The leaves on Erica's piece seem to glow. Great choice of fabric & paint.
 Clara brought a tote bag to print on.
 This piece was printed with a screen of a mola design.  Molas are colorful reverse applique designs done by the Kuna Indians of Panama. Google "mola applique" for lots of images of these colroful designs.
 Gigi works with paper so was able to experiment with different paints on the various papers she brought.