Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Playing with Waterways from StencilGirl!

Greetings!  Leslie here, with a couple of ideas for using the fun "Waterways" stencil by Wendy Aikin.
I love the organic shapes in this stencil!
The great thing about stencils are the potential for using both the negative and positive shapes.

I work in both cloth and paper so I decided to work quickly within my sketchbook to create a fun page, and also use the stencil with textile paint on a gelli plate with cloth.  
Just for fun I lined the edges of my journal pages with some washi tape.

Next, I lightly misted some acrylic ink over the pages.
Then, I placed the stencil over this layer and pounced some transparent dark blue over the top.

After the first two layers dried  I pulled a thick layer of opaque white paint over the surface of the stencil using a palette knife.  My goal was to achieve a moderate layer of paint with distinct edges.

Once dry, I randomly meandered through the shapes of the stencil with a permanent gel roller pen.   I wanted to establish two edges, which I am "filling" with text.

After drawing the text shapes with my black pen I am working back into the letters with an opaque white pen.

Now, I am combining blue paint with an extender to create a more transparent hue.

I am using the transparent paint on either side of my text.

Here is the finished page, which says "Let The Creative River Flow Thru U".

Next I am working with acrylic paint on a Gelli Arts plate.  I love gelatin monoprinting and the Gelli Plate makes it so easy!  In the following images I am using the 6x6 gelli plate, which is a perfect fit with this stencil!  I began with a piece of watercolor paper...
Using a fairly small amount of paint I spread a thin layer over the gelli plate surface with a brayer.

Then, I placed the stencil over the painted surface.

Gently placing the paper over the plate I used my hands to smooth the paper over the paint left exposed.
The stencil acts as a barrier, or resist, to the paint on the gelli plate.

When I pull the paper from the plate I have this cool pattern!
 But, there's more:
When I pull the stencil from the plate I have a "ghosted" image remaining.

When I placed another paper directly onto the gelli plate I can pull more paint.

And, if I place another paper onto the side of the stencil that faced the gelli plate I can get yet another, less distinct image.  So...3 for the price of one!  This will be combined as I move to a piece of cloth.
I carefully placed the cloth over the stencil-covered gelli plate and smooth the surface.
You can see where the paint is "grabbing" the cloth.

Now, I'm peeling the cloth away from the stencil.

Next, I place the stencil, paint side down, on another area of the cloth. 
Third, I carefully place yet another area of the cloth back onto the plate to pick up the remainder of the paint that has the ghost of the stencil.
I like to overlap the prints to avoid a choppy look.

I am moving between 3 different colors of paint.  If you choose to do this, use colors that are fairly close to each other on the color wheel so as to avoid ending up with "mud".

I love the unpredictable results of using several paint colors on the plate.  
Note:  I am not wiping the plate between color additions.

After repeatedly using these 3 techniques I ended up with this!
Once the paint is dry to the touch I can heat-set it with a warm dry iron for permanence or it will become permanent after about 24 hours of drying.

I hand-painted two long, spiraled lines down the length of the cloth (can you see them just left of my embroidery floss?) and I hated them!  I quickly took the cloth into the studio sink and scrubbed as much of the paint off as I could which left a faint, pleasing, "ghost" of the mark.  I like it!
I want to do some hand-stitching with a couple of these colors of embroidery floss and so I'm testing them by backing away from my design wall and taking a look.

Here we go:  I'm planning to stitch along one edge of my badly-painted line(s).

Next, I place my cloth over a piece of wool-blend felt with a commercially-printed cotton cloth backing.

Using my sewing machine with the feed-dogs down, I am free-motion quilting the negative spaces with  white thread.

How fun is this?  I love the textural quality of both types of stitching.
After I finish the machine stitching I may come back in with more hand-embroidery.  

Thanks for hanging in there with me through a looong tutorial!  I hope you will stop back by StencilGirl Talk often, and hey! come on over to my blog and pay me a visit, too!  Have fun and go play!

Thanks Leslie for that awesome tutorial!!!! 
Maria popping in here. We aren't done with StencilGirl for today!! How about some more StencilGirl projects??!! Nathalie Kalbach is having a Stencil Hop today with her stencils that she designed for StencilGirl! Go on over to Nathalie's Blog and start the fun.  
It starts at 3AM Central Time.
I'll see you along the way. I'm on the Hop trail :)


  1. I love the texture that resulted from the addition of the free motion quilting.

    1. Thanks, Terri! I loved working the stitch into the negative space(s) to keep the colors from the print intact.

  2. Both are fantastic projects. The quilted piece is singing......I love the gelli prints on fabric like that. You page and the idea of creative flow, marvelous. xox

    1. Thank you so much, Corrine! When I first saw this stencil I immediately thought of creative flow.

  3. Thank you for the tutorial! I love the outcome of both the paper and cloth prints!

    1. Thanks, GA! Often, I don't have a pre-conceived notion of the outcome, so it is fun when things work out!!

  4. Beautiful use of the stencil and the Gelli Plate! Love how you used stitching with it!

    1. Thanks, Caroline. I am frequently guilty of putting stitches on anything that holds still long enough for me to stick a needle through it!

  5. you guys are killing me!! i want every stencil u guys use, how could i not, with all these great pieces of artwork coming from using these awesome stencils! and now rumor has it that seth apter is on your team and designed some stencils,i am tellin' ya', you are killing me! just kidding,sorta, i have always wanted all stencil girls stencils, but now with the blog showing the great artwork, there is no resisting the urge! aloha, angi in hana

    1. Aloha, Angi. Let me be an enabler: don't resist any longer! These stencils, in addition to all the wonderful designs, are really made well. They are going to stand up to a lot of use, and believe me, I've already put some of them to the test! I taught a workshop last Saturday and used several of them. I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. I hope you are enjoying reading it as much as we are enjoying making things for it! Stop by often!

  6. Exactly what Carolyn said!!
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Gill. Please stop back often. We love hearing from you!

  7. This is cool blog with the best articles, just found what i was looking for, thanks. Happy Independence Day Greetings


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