Have you dipped your feet into the world of block printing? Do you want to give block printing a try and don’t know how to begin?
Do you want to design fabric and do not know where to start?
In my blog post today, I will be sharing about the simple ways to get started with fabric design and why using a fat quarter is PERFECT for your block printing.
Fun fact – The fabric images in this post were block printed and designed on fat quarters 🙂
Here are the basics on fat quarters:
What is a fat quarter?
- They are small rectangular pieces of fabric that measure approximately 18″ x 21″.
- They are perfect for all varieties of sewing projects.
- A fat quarter is a bite sized piece of fabric, not too large and overwhelming, so perfect for creating a quick design.
- Fat quarters are economical to buy and come in a variety of solids and patterns. You can buy a few in different colors and add them to your crafting stash.
Why is it called a fat quarter?
- It is called a fat quarter because of the size and shape.
- A fat quarter is basically made by folding a yard or a meter piece of fabric into quarters and then cutting it along the folds.
- The size of the fat quarter is “fat” and chubby. If you were to buy a 1/4″ of a yard it would be long and thin (9″ x 42″) because it comes off a roll. In comparison, a fat quarter is rectangular and “chubby” (approximately 18″ x 21″). Fat quarters can vary is size, but not by a lot, which is why I say “approximate”.
- They come folded into a little square.
- Fat quarters are perfect for sewing projects – to make pillows, bags, objects for the home.
A few side notes on fabric, block printing on fabric and fat quarters..
Fat quarters are great for block printing because you can buy a variety of solid colors all at the same time.
Wash your fabric before getting started with block printing. Yes, even the fat quarters. If you don’t have time, that is fine. However, washing your fabric gets rid of any starches or sizing that may be on the fabric causing the ink to act/ react in a funky way.
Wash or no wash, iron your fabric. Because of the folds, Fat quarters will have creases. It isn’t the easiest to iron the wrinkles out, but give your fabric a press before working with it.
Tips and tricks when block printing on a fat quarter:
- Lay on the surface in front of you. Place kraft paper under the fabric to protect your surface.
- Hand press wrinkles out. Start at a top corner. I am right handed so I start in the top left. Why? This is so as I move along, I work on blank fabric and I don’t smear the ink with my hand.
- Print across and then move down and start on the next row/ area. Always try to work into a blank space.
- As you get near the edge of fabric… Have fun and print off the edges ( half on the fabric and half on the Kraft paper ). This gives it a realistic and finished look. If you plan to sew with it later, you have “extra” printed fabric to work with. You never know when you won’t have enough for a project and that little extra goes a log way.
- Have fun. Take it slow and steady. The best part is that you can create a print in about an hour!
- Put it aside and let it air dry. Depending on the ink you use, let it dry and then you may need to heat press to set the ink. Inks are different, so make sure to read the instructions on the bottle.
PS— I created an online block printing course and I am so excited to to share about it. The course has been in the making for a year. I started teaching online zoom workshops during covid and had so much fun with it, that I decided to design a course.
This is an introductory course, created for:
- Beginner block printers
- Block printers who are frustrated and need more more guidance
- Designers who are looking for tips, tricks and design prompts to get them started
- Crafters and creators looking for a new outlet
- Anyone interested in fabric design!
The class is called “Block Printing Made Easy”. It starts May 30th, 2022 and will run for 3 weeks, with online video content being shared every Monday.
PLUS – Every Saturday for the 3 weeks of the course, I will host an hour long Zoom Q&A workshop.
The course is $97 USD. The course cart opens Monday, May 16th and cart closes Thursday, May 25th. If you are interested in learning more, fill out the form HERE and you will be added to the waitlist. Once the course is open for registrations, I will send you an email to let you know.
More details to come.
That’s it. Have fun. Until next time, Happy sewing and block printing.