Wood Blocks & Modern Hand Stitching

by Judy Gula

Wood Blocks & Modern Hand Stitching

by Judy Gula

When printing with wooden print blocks, it is one of those tasks that is better done without an end result in mind... at least that is how I feel. Just enjoy creating fabric, stamping patterns and have fun!

I printed two pieces of fabric with wooden printing blocks, which are hand carved in India, using Opaque Textile Paint. The first bird is stamped on plain white muslin (shown above, while the owl has been printed on a watercolor batik. Inspired by Ruth Chandler’s wonderful book, Modern Hand Stitching I decided to stitch over my block printing with handpainted Painter’s Thread imported from Germany.

Above, Block Printed Owls.

In preparation for hand-stitching, I took the fabric, applied Mistyfuse to the back, and attached it to a light weight flannel or Osnaburg. The Mistyfuse prevents bearding of the quilt batting, while the thin flannel keeps the quilt thin. The completed stitched block can be layered over quilt batting and backing to finish.

Above, close up of the Hand Stitched Bird. One completed, two to go. I will probably leave one bird as a printed/stamped image only.

My idea is to use different stitches and Painter's Threads on each owl. But those honeycomb owl bodies scream cross stitches!

As you can see, these stitching experiments are still a work in progress. But I am enjoying working on them, and I think that the end result will be that these fine-feathered fowls will find their way into art quilts!

For the next inspiration, look at your fabrics monoprinted with your gel printing plate and those surface designed with stencils, such as the example shown at the end of this post. Do the shapes and colors inspire you to pick up some thread and begin stitching?

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