12 July 2012

It Started with a Stencil

If you follow this blog, you know by now that I recently participated in an online stencil workshop with Melanie Testa (Stencil Magic; there is a rolling admission, so you can still sign up!), during which I made my own stencils. Not a lot of them, but a few I really like. If you want to have a look at photographs of them, as well as descriptions of the inspiration and processes involved, hop over to my Flickr photostream.

I haven't been as active as I wanted to with my stencils, but as I said, I have made some stencils that I really like, and I'm thrilled that the course work has already started to pay off. At the moment I'm working on not one, but three little purses with my own stencilled imagery. I'm basically following Melanie Testa's processes for creating layered textile art, and pattern for a "pretty purse". I'll supply you with a list of sources at the end of this post.

First I took a piece of cotton and monoprinted it, and then I stencilled some nonsense script on it with one of the stencils I'd made. (I masked off part of the cotton with Magic/freezer paper).

Then I took a piece of silk organza and monoprinted that, followed by printing on the organza with my own poppy stencil. It doesn't look like much yet, but wait and see!

I added more printing on the cotton layer, and then I collaged a poppy over the printed cloth. The poppy isn't quite natural from this viewpoint, but it'll be alright in the end.

And this is what the layers look like together. In the background you can see the map I made as a guide.

And here the quilt sandwich is machine quilted, with a few hand embroidered details, and ready for the final steps: to cut out the purse shape, add a zipper and sew it all together.

And, as I said, I have two more purses on the go, so stay tuned. I will show you the finished purses quite soon, I believe. I'm ready to start quilting the other two tomorrow.

If you want to know more about the layering process and the pretty purse, check out these sources (all by Melanie Testa):

General process for creating layered textile art:
Inspired to Quilt

Pretty purses:
Inspired to Quilt
Quilting Arts Magazine issue 36 (December 2008/January 2009) (the link will take you to the digital edition of the magazine)
Quilting Arts TV, episode 304

Thanks for visiting, and please return soon for images of the finished pretty purses. I'm very excited! - Annika


  1. Gorgeous!!! Thanks for sharing each step of your beautiful creation. It would make a beautiful wall hanging, too. You gave me the kick I needed to get going on making something with my stencils. Wow! I just love your work.

    1. Thanks Jeannie! My aim with this blog is to inspire others and to spread the love, so I'm really happy if this has inspired you to use your stencils too. :)

  2. Very pretty! Real modern art a la Annika. You should have an expo (utställning?)later on.

    1. Thanks Mona-Lisa! I will exhibit some of my work in January. This year's theme at the education center is "slow makes flow", and embroidery is the perfect exaple of that, isn't it?