Little bits of time

I’m finding that I’m not spending long hours in my studio lately. I’m grabbing an hour here and an hour there, but still able to get a little bit done at a time.

I grabbed one of those hours today and tried to make more design decisions on my pink batik piece. I want to settle on the placement of my large beads and decide whether or not it would look like it’s floating with a nice gray border. Still don’t know, but even thinking takes time!

Pink 4

Then my eyes fell on the stencil I purchased at USArtquest last week. I knew what I wanted to do with it, so I tried.

I am not a stenciler. I am forced to accept that because my stencils usually come out BAAAD. I just can’t seem to get the right proportion or thickness of paint. My first attempts were too blobby, then too watery and still blobby.

red gears3

I was about to give up in disgust at myself when I thought about stamping…yes, what did I have to lose!

Painted the paint on the stencil with a light touch, but paint just as it came from the bottle.

red gears1

Then I put it on the fabric (which I had on a towel for a little padding), covered the stencil with a piece of waxed paper and hit it with a brayer.

red gears2

It looked blobby from this side, but it came out great! Just what I wanted and I love that you can see the brush strokes. That’s like a bonus texture layer.

red gears5

I was a little more generous with the paint after this one. Quite surprised that this worked and gave me what I was looking for. Maybe the surface design instruction I’ve been around has been sinking in!

red gears6

These are not perfect, but that will work just fine when I start putting them with the other fabric I plan to use.

No more time in that short grab of an hour, but as long as I am making tiny forward steps, I can be happy!


13 thoughts on “Little bits of time

  1. I use acrylic paint (Perfect Pigment) for ease of use – and it does not require heat setting. I had some problems with this particular stencil…all those gear teeth I guess. Anyway, I solved the problem and achieved a good image using a blunt-end stencil brush, made for a detailed stencil like the one you used. However, I love the texture you got and the method used.


  2. I totally understand what you mean. Using Inks/paints is really difficult and depending on how you pull it through the stencil/screen and how much ink you have then it just might turn out like shit.

    I’ve moved to fiber reactive dyes and made prints with a sodium alginate paste that you can thicken to your liking. You add color to the gel and push it through a screen and almost always it comes out perfectly.

    If you want to love printing, you should consider this transition.

    ps – love the “relief” print you ended up with!


    • I never have a problem with screen printing, either with thickened dye or paint. That always seems the easiest way to go, but I’ve hesitated to buy a lot of screens because I never think I’m going to use the same image multiple times! I think I need to change my mindset, just because I do find screen printing easier!


  3. I really like the simplicity of your piece. What you did by putting the paint directly on the stencil is a really neat idea. Gives it a completely different look.


  4. Thanks for this one. I love the progress your making on your quilt and the idea of a just a little time in the studio is enough to accomplish all you did is a wonderful incentive for me. Just what I needed. Thanks.


    • I’ve been guilty of not doing anything because I only had a little bit of time, but I’m now finding it very productive and valuable to grab just those tiny bits of time as they come up!


  5. I have a special stencil brush for this kind of work. I do not used the foam brushes. The stencil brush is very stiff and you pounce down with it. I think that you could make an inner border of red on your beaded piece and then use a darker outer border. This would unify your piece and the grey would not float. Just an opinion. Looks really good. I really like that stencil.


    • It’s just the little stencils that I have a big problem with…I always get too much paint for the fine details, or not enough paint for the color/coverage I want. I have a stencil brush, but I haven’t had much better luck with that.

      And I want the gray to kind of float the pink, I think, so I’m probably going to put that border on. Of course it won’t be a *straight* border!


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