Friday, April 27, 2012

Screen Printing at Fruit Farm Fabrics

I was talking about craft blogs with one of my colleagues, and he mentioned that I should check out his wife's site, Fruit Farm Fabrics.

I love her designs, especially the small apples, and suggested to my Mom that it would be a fun day out during her Suffolk 2012 trip.

She wholeheartedly agreed, and we signed up for a class.

We arrived at Caroline's home (attached to her workshop and studio) at around 9:30, had coffee (and more millionaire's shortbread than I'm willing to admit to), and went through to her studio. I covet her studio. Big, bright windows looking over the garden, a big table for working, lots of crafty books, and a  computer-design nook with her scanner and computer. It was a drizzly overcast day and it was still really bright in there.

Here are some of her fabric designs, mounted on the wall (such a good idea!):

My mom used the window as a lightbox to trace her design:

Here's her final design, ready for tracing with the sticky-back plastic:

And my design, with input from Caroline on leaving a border around the sheep to give myself a margin for error (aka creative wonkyness) when printing.

We then cut out plastic templates for each of our screens. We both had three colours - I used green for the background, brown for some of the sheep and the border, and black for a sheep and the noses and legs. My mom used bright red, bright blue, and brown.

Here are my mom and Caroline, printing!

That's concentration:

Here's my mom's design, after the first colour. I LOVE how the horse is really moving.

And here's mine, after the first printing. Slightly more abstract!

After this first printing, it was about 1, and we were ravenous. Fabric printing and design is quite a bit more exhausting than I expected. Luckily, Caroline had prepared a delicious lunch (soup and crusty bread with salad, ham and cheese), and after slightly more wine than would be advisable given the exacting nature of the second round of screen printing, we carried on.

Here's the final shot of mine. I LOVE how it turned out. The grand plan is to take Class 2 and upload it to a fabric printing site (like Spoonflower). I've also just received my copy of Mastering The Art Of Fabric Printing and Design, by Laurie Wisbrun of Tufted Tweets fame.

Watch out world, here we come! I'd highly recommend a day at Fruit Farm Fabrics to anyone interested in fabric design or just in having a really fun day out. Top tip: we brainstormed ideas before we got there, then showed them to Caroline, who guided us towards the ones that would work best for screen printing. It meant that we got quite a bit more done in a day than we had expected.

P.S. This post was NOT sponsored - we just had a such great time that I figured my fellow crafty (and less-crafty) peeps would appreciate hearing about it!


cheap tshirt printing said...

Thanks for the great post. I checked out Fruit Farm Fabrics and they really have some amazing looking patterned fabrics.

Cadisch said...

I really like your work, it looks great.

Amela Jones said...

Is there any further reading you would recommend on this?

T-shirt printing Milton keynes