Today I’m sharing my secrets with you and a little peak into a new print that will be in the shop soon. I’ll start by sharing with you a quilt I own.
My great-grandmother who I call Mama Stott made this quilt. If you read any of my previous posts, you may have heard me talk about her. She was a strong woman who loved to garden, enjoyed fishing, reading, going to church and feeding her family. One of her many talents was quilting and I am fortunate enough to have inherited one of her creations.
As you know, my North Carolina roots continually inspire me. I didn’t grow up there but visiting my family was always a happy time and I guess it’s like going to my happy place when I take a trip down memory lane. This past winter, I was all snuggled up in this quilt and I started noticing little details—the little fabric squares and their prints, her stitches done by hand. I believe the colorful fabric squares are remnants from dresses Mama Stott made for her grandchildren. One stood out in my mind and I decided I wanted to add a floral pattern to my collection. An idea was born. After a few sketches, I came up with a swirling rose pattern inspired by my favorite patch on the quilt.
Here’s the boring science part…sorry folks! The next step I take in making this idea come to life is scanning my drawing into the computer and printing out what is called a film positive. A film positive is clear film paper with my future image printed on it.
Through a dark room process, the image is transferred onto my wood screen that has been coated in a light sensitive, pink colored emulsion. This process is a lot like old photo film. Think of 35mm film and those little negatives we would get back in an envelope from Kodak. Basically, I’m trying to make my wood screen the negative image of my rose pattern. I start by mounting or taping my film positive to the emulsion-coated screen. I then expose the screen to light for a certain amount of time and the light hardens the emulsion. However, light is unable to get through the image of my film positive. Next, I spray water on the exposed screen and my rose pattern image melts away. Now I have my screen made for screen-printing!
Here is where I let my screens sunbathe. The extra light exposure hardens the emulsion even more. This process ensures that my screens hold up a long, long time and don’t absorb too much water-based ink.
On to the fun and messy part! I mix my inks to the colors of my choosing and get to printing. Below you’ll see me printing onto a towel.
That’s it folks. As promised, you’ll see new items in the shop—including this rose pattern—by mid September. I’m really looking forward to offering you more products to use in your home making it healthy and beautiful. One more thing before I go…
I found this recently on my great-grandmother’s quilt. She stitched in her initials and the year she made it. I choked up a little when I found this. It makes me feel like she’s always with me. Xo Janet