Archive for the ‘white lines’ Category

Oh, oh, the Ammonite!

Monday, December 26th, 2022

I’m hearing the Bob Marley song, ‘The Israelite,’ as I make fabric prints from this CNC-carved wood block made by Tony Bevis. There is a whole little ammonite sub-culture here in the Pikes Peak Region. Kim Lacy has been using the ammonite shape in her prize-winning art quilts for several years. Dennis saw these, and wanted to carve one on a huge maple burl disk he has turned. Our friend, Tony, is a neighbor of Kim’s, and started looking for an image to carve with his CNC router. He cut four different sizes of the image. I am lucky to have two much smaller ones for block printing experiments.

The easiest transfer to fabric is a simple rubbing to pick up a ‘white line’ print of the carved areas of the block. For this black quilt, I quilted the lines first, and then painted inside them. Some black-on-black texture comes from a stencil, and from hand embroidery.


I liked the stencil of the pebbles enough to add it to the wood block with spackling. Technically, the block became a colograph at this point, and it was perfect for a new step in the game – using a gelli plate as an inking surface. I applied the paint in a very wet condition, pressed the block into the ink, and lifted it off. The thickness of the paint created a ‘denditric’ texture. This print is from the block, not the gelli plate– black ink on white cotton sateen. I then painted over the dried print with transparent acrylics from CMYK colors – the base colors for inkjet printing. Perhaps we are unaware just how much this 4-color printing process has shaped our color sense!

Cyan/Magenta/Black Ammonite


Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

The hotter version of secondary colors seemed just right for a bit of a tourist poster for Southern Europe. The white line block prints are from archeological illustrations in Marija Gimbutas’ book, The Civilization of the Goddess, about neolithic Europe. So, although I haven’t been there in 2022 (with various Boomer friends), I feel very entitled to interpret our shared heritage.

Best quilt of 2019!

Monday, November 4th, 2019

This 5 x 5″ framed quilt was my best composition of 2019.   It also tells the story of new making techniques that I began using this year, building on my fascination with white line printing.

The quilt started with carving wood blocks for printing.  One was made for ‘white line’ prints – everything except the branches in this case, which are the white fabric shining through the printing inks.  The other block cut away the background, so that the ink created the trunk and branches of the tree.  I have used silkscreened patterns before, but this was my first effort with block printing.

The ombre (graduated) stripes were a commercial fabric that picked up the vertical elements in the two printed blocks.  For some other designs, I have printed directly on the ombre fabric, with happy results.

For a quilter with a wood shop, I suppose that block printing is the obvious combination of media.  As I increase in skill and vision, I hope to move on from this tiny format into bigger works with more to say.

New Carving for Studio Tour Sept 7-8

Monday, August 26th, 2019

WHITE LINES have their own history in fine craft disciplines.  In ceramics, the ‘cuerdo seco’ technique leaves an unglazed line on tiles which separates sections of glaze.   In print-making, Blanche Lazelle and the Provincetown group in New England left un-printed white lines to separate areas of color on woodblock prints.    In silk painting, the serti technique uses lines of resist to separate colors.   And, for wood artists, there is a white liming wax that we can use to fill carved lines in our work.

This wooden quilt uses while lines to unify the 6 inch and 3 inch blocks of cherry, along with turning, carved textures, milk paint, and stencils.

After making these blocks, I decided to make my own printing blocks for printing textiles.  These very recent efforts will be on display for the Studio Tour this year, along with the first fabric quilts I have made with them.