I have been a bit busy lately and have been putting off making a quilt for a call for entry that is coming up at the end of March. I knew what I wanted to make but have not found the time to settle down and actually get on with it. But yesterday was the day. I rolled up my sleeves, cleared my work bench and made a huge mess. It was great.
I started the day by making the biggest gelatine printing plate I have ever used. I melted down 6 of my standard sized gelatine plates and poured all 2 litres of the molten sticky mess into a huge roasting pan and let it set. My new 'super-sized' plate measures 40cm by 30cm, and in the beginning I wondered if it would be too big, but actually it was brilliant, and allowed much more variety in terms of what I could put onto the surface.
(If you want to make your own gelatine plate the recipe I use can be found on a blog post I wrote back in December of 2015 along with a recipe for a vegetatrian version. Click on the button below to go to that old blog post)
As you can see from the photo above, I used acrylic paint on the plate. I like this 'Sennelier' brand very much. They have a nice consistency and have a good amount of pigment. They are a little thick for this job, but a mist of water over the plate gives just the right considtency and stops the paint drying out too quickly. I also like the pouches they come in, rather than more traditional tubes. I would prefer that they weren't plastic, but at least it is easy to get every last bit of paint out of the pack, and when they are used it is easy to clean them out and reuse them to store other things.
While the plate was setting up I cut up 2 metres of white cotton sateen and spent the first part of the day dyeing the white fabric some very very pale grey/blues. While the fabrics batched I cut a few lino blocks, then washed and dried the fabrics and spent the afternoon paintng, printing, marbling, stencilling and spraying ointo the dyed fabric. It was a busy day and I wish I had taken a photo of my studio - it looked like a tornado had been through!
Then this morning I heat set all the fabrics and pinned them up to see what I had got. Here is a glimpse.
Have you figured out the theme of the quilt yet? If not, here are two of my sketchbook pages which give the game away.
Once the fabrics were pressed and easy to see I was able to select pieces of the fabric, cut them up and piece them together to form the quilt top. This is how far I got by the end of today. I am pretty happy with that for 2 days work!
Day 3 is going to need to wait - but I am pleased with the progress so far. I will post an update once I get going on it again.
Thanks for reading.