Saturday, December 20, 2008

Leaf Printed Pillow

Last month we offered a class on printing with found leaves onto fabric, and then sewing up your printed fabric into a pillow. I got the idea from Lotta Jansdotter's lovely book, Lotta's Prints. I appreciate the simplicity of the process and the individual differences of each print. It's interesting to think about what you can make prints with.
Since the class is not continuing in January, I wanted to share the how-to with you!

-Leaves and Branches. These can be dry or green, sparse or dense, large or small.
-Paint. We used regular acrylic paint in the class, but any fabric or permanent paint will work.
-Cotton Fabric.
-Newspaper, stipple brushes or scrap fabric, paper plates.
-Sewing machine and sewing supplies.

1. On your fabric, mark the size of your front pillow piece and draw a frame with chalk. Typical sizes are 12"x 12", 15" x 15", 12" x 18".

2. Gather your materials and think about composition and color. Do you want to repeatedly print with the same branch across? Or just print a single branch diagonally? Play around before you print.

3. Place the leaf or branch on newspaper, with the back side up. The back of the leaves and branches will have more detail when you print. Use a stipple brush or scrap fabric piece to blot paint onto leaves. Use a good amount of paint.

4. Be sure to put a piece of newspaper under the fabric you'll be printing on, or between the layers of your fabric. Transfer your leaf onto the fabric with paint side down. Place a clean piece of newspaper over the leaf and fabric. Press with your fingers and side of your fist all over the branch. Be sure to keep it steady. You'll have to press fairly hard to get a clean print. Repeat for as many prints as you want to make.

4. Let the paint dry.

5. Cut our the dimensions of your pillow, leaving a good seam allowance. Sew it up, stuff it, or place over another pillow.. that's it!

You can print like this on anything. Curtains, tote bags, wrap skirts, even your walls!


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