Phew it’s been a while since I’ve blogged here on Fingerprint! My apologies for that. I’ve been working hard though and that does mean there’s plenty to tell you about today. The first thing to mention is the new Fingerprint Newsletter. Many of you may have found your way here via DesignMatters where Linda and I work together with our online courses and DMTV etc. If so, you’ll know we send out a weekly DesignMatters News email. Alongside that, you can now sign up to receive dedicated Fingerprint news too. This won’t be a weekly email so don’t worry, I won’t be bombarding your inbox. Instead it’ll be an ‘every-so-often’ email to keep you updated with new fabric designs, free project ideas, special offers and details of where you can see Fingerprint at exhibition or shows. I hope you’ll want to sign up and you can do so using the link at the very bottom of this page. All you need do is pop your email address in the box.
Lots of you will know that Jamie and I are expecting a baby later this year. Before we have to start worrying about looking after something so precious and carting around all her paraphernalia, we though it would be fun to escape for a few days away and get a little sun on our backs while it was still just the two of us. It wasn’t all lazing about though, we kept our eyes peeled and found inspiration for new fabric designs. You’ll find three already added to the site. I just love the surface texture of the flaking paint and the soft colours.
These are printed on to beautiful quality cotton poplin and as usual are available in either 45cm or 20cm sizes. I think they’ll be just perfect to include in patchwork and so I’m going to work on a couple of ideas. I don’t want to chop them up too small and lose the image altogether so I think it’ll work well to mix and match some pieced areas with larger patches of the fabric. I’ll crack on and post pictures here when it’s done. The collection of fabrics co-ordinate well together so we’ve offered them singly and as a set. The small size set of three can be yours for only £4.50! You can order yours here.
Meanwhile back in the studio I’ve been working on a new quilt that maximises the use of digital print. I hoped you might be intrigued to see it in progress and perhaps it’ll give you some ideas of how you might use your own sketchbook work and photos to make a design for printing using our Bespoke service. Here’s how the quilt top is looking:
It’s all printing onto poplin which I love to use for quilt tops as it’s so smooth and quilts up so well. You might recognise one of the elements as our Winter Hedge fabric design. I’ve taken the photo that we used for that fabric and combined it with just one other element – a photo of a drawing I made recently. Here’s how the drawing looked before I tweaked it:
This lovely little bird flew into one of our windows earlier this year. He was stunned and just sitting on the deck. We were anxious that a cat would find him before he recovered and so I picked him up to move him to a safe place. It was amazing to hold such a tiny bird. He was so light I couldn’t feel him on my fingers at all! What a wonderful opportunity to get some close up photos. It was from these photos that I made this drawing which is simply graphite on paper. The drawing was too large to fit on the scanner so instead I positioned it in good light and took a digital photo.
Using Photoshop I played around with layering the bird drawing photo with the winter hedge photo. I do love how Photoshop allows you to layer images, alter transparency and build an image. It’s much like ‘real’ collage except easier to undo. I’m no great expert on Photoshop, but it’s amazing how quickly it’s possible to pick things up when you start playing. A little random clicking later and I had this composite image. At this stage you can still see the obvious layering between the hedge background and the drawing.
So I added more hedge images over the top and blurred the edges of the drawing image to try to lose them. I didn’t want it to be an invisible join, but just to ‘bed’ the two parts together a little better.
This was the end result and the version that I printed. As it’s for a wall quilt I’ve gone quite large and printed it at 120cm wide. I think digital printing has a reputation for being expensive but if you went for an image of a similar size printed on poplin it would cost a smidgen over £50 and you’d have room alongside for some smaller prints too – not a bad price at all for a wall quilt and some co-ordinating cushions for instance!!
I love the fragmentation of the hedge image and wanted to work with that further so I’ve cut other pieces of our standard Winter Hedge fabric and used them to piece two columns to the left and right as you can see in the image earlier in the post.
The final stage is to add the quilting of course. I’ve layered up with a cotton/poly wadding and plain cotton backing. I’m quilting it on the longarm in Linda’s studio as that’s free at the moment, but it could equally be quilted on a conventional machine. I find I quilt a bit quicker on the longarm, I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s because I’m standing? I have no idea! There’s still a while to go with the quilting, but I’ve made a good start on it today:
I’m freehand quilting and simply following the spiky shapes of the hedge. It’ll get a bit trickier when I get to the little bird, but I have plans to start introducing some colour to suggest the colouring of his plumage. I’ll be sure to keep you updated with progress.
Thanks for dropping by. I really appreciate you taking the time to read the blog and I hope you’ll sign up for the Newsletter too. Don’t forget, if you have any questions about Fingerprint and would like to know more about having your own photos or drawings printed then just email any time. I’m always happy to advise.
Talk to you again soon,
Working on our Be Bespoke orders is always fascinating. It’s great to be part of the creative process and work with customers to help realise their vision. Of course as soon as the fabric is printed and popped in the post our job is done and we don’t always get to see how the fabrics are used. Recently we printed long banners onto silk chiffon for textile artist Helen Cowans. Helen was exhibiting her art textiles and garments at Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch at the NEC and the banners made the perfect accompaniment to her beautiful work.
Helen had photographed some of her own work for the banners which was printed much enlarged. Of course as the banners used images of her own textiles, the colours and mood complemented the other pieces on display. Now the exhibition is over I’d be tempted to cut the banners into scarves – I think they’d be gorgeous to wear!
A big thank you to Helen for sharing photos of her exhibition. If you’d like to see more of her work please visit her website www.helencowans.co.uk
Bye for now,
Hello and welcome to the brand new Fingerprint website. We’re just about getting there with the site and we thank you for your patience while we tweak the pages and add lots more images, info and products. First, I’d like to say a big thank you to Matt Snook for all his hard work and design skills that have gone into getting the site built and here for you to enjoy. I’ve been on his case shamelessly for weeks now with email after email asking ‘can we have this?’ and ‘can we change that?’ and he’s done a great job to create a site that reflects our style and vision. Of course over the next few weeks we’ll still be working on the fine tuning so if you do have suggestions for things you’d like to see please don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll see if it can be included in the master plan! If you’d like to see more of Matt’s work why not check out his portfolio?
So, while we’re putting the finishing touches to the site if there’s something you’re looking for that you can’t find, please just let us know. You can email us any time.
Bye for now,