Monday, 28 July 2014

Painted Fabric Picture

First of the teacher presents tonight...

This was a present for a teacher who runs a drama club which we all enjoy, and the last performance was a musical version of Jack and the Beanstalk. Maria painted a beanstalk on some fabric for me, with watered down acrylic paint. Once it was dry I ironed it to set the colours, then added a wool back and picked out some of the detail with machine stitching.

The back has 2 'triangles' for hanging purposes.

And we experimented a bit with computer printing on to fabric, to add a message at the bottom.

I used this tutorial at Dolls and Daydreams. It was a lovely, clear tutorial, but the results were very mixed. This could be down to our printer though. I found adding a bit of 505 basting spray to stick the freezer paper and the fabric together helped, rather than just relying on ironing it. But even so there was a tendency for the printer to chew it up, the paper really needed very careful positioning. I think I might have had more success just sticking the fabric to ordinary paper with the 505 spray, and not bothering with freezer paper. But by the time I got round to trying that I seemed to have run the printer out of ink! We were hoping to make a couple of other presents using printed fabric, but I think in the end only 2 out of 9 or 10 attempts worked. It's something we'll try again when I'm back in ink. Anyone else out there had better success with something like this?

And I'd better leave it at that tonight. We seem to be falling into a holiday rhythm with our days at the moment. The children sleep late (good for a bit of early sewing time!), we potter around the house and garden in the morning and early afternoon, then head out to somewhere with water mid to late afternoon, when the sun isn't quite so fierce, have lots of fun swimming, playing, walking... 

With a BBQ for an outdoor tea...

 And then come back as the sun goes down...

Just in time for a quick hot chocolate, then straight up to bed, and I read to all the children together. I've been typing away here with my hot chocolate by my side but children are already upstairs and calling out for book time. We're reading 'My Father's Dragon' at the moment, which I'm just about getting away with, but it's very young for the boys. So as well as printing advice, has anyone got any suggestions for read aloud books that will keep ages 5 to 13 equally happy? I'm wondering about maybe the Narnia books, but the boys have read them in the past, and ideally I'd love to read something that's new to all of us. So all recommendations gratefully received.



  1. Oh wow - I love the bean stalk - even if it did take an entire printer's worth of ink!! As for book suggestions I take it if you've done Narnia you've also done Swallows and Amazons (and if not that's my first suggestion), so I'll suggest Cynthia Voight's Tillerman series, or possibly Laura Ingalls Wilder. Some of Michelle Magorian's stories might be a bit old for them but you could start with A Spoonful of Jam and see how you get on - hope that helps!

  2. Just love the beanstalk, what a lovely gift.Your days sound just perfect for summer, and it certainly looks like everyone is enjoying them.

  3. Lucky teachers! Your days sound idyllic. How lovely to spend all that time outdoors. How about some Roald Dahl for the children?

  4. Another great gift. I especially like the words. You always create something that fits the situation for the gift, so perfectly.


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