Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Guest Designer Frieda Oxenham

In essence is printing on fabric using a gelli plate exactly the same as printing on paper. In this case I’m using dedicated fabric paint as it’s much easier to stitch through than acrylics and also makes the end product washable. My fabric paints are Opaques and Metallics by Colourcraft and I’m printing on silk.

1.     Add a mix of colours to your gelli plate (8 x 10”) and take prints. Add one colour to your gelli plate and add a stencil on top, take a print on your printed fabrics. Remove stencil and take another print. Overprint on some of your fabrics if you like. I used the following stencils: L301 Circles Circles, L320 Batik, the large stencils of the June 2020 StencilClub, the January 2017 Club, the October 2014 Club and the August 2015 Club.

2.     Cut all your fabrics into 1” wide strips. I used a rotary cutter and cutting mat. You can also use scissors.

3.     Cut the strips into approx. 1” squares. I do this step freehand, without a ruler.

4.     Sew the squares together using a sewing machine and chain piecing i.e. sew one pair together, then without lifting the needle the following pair etc. Press the seams open with an iron. Then sew the pairs together into fours, then eights etc, till you have a long strip of sewn together squares.

5.     Select your background. I used black wool felt and alternated between black fabric and my pieced squares. Put a small strip of black fabric (also 1” wide) to the centre of the wool felt. Tack it down if you like. Then sew a length of your pieced squares to opposite sides of the black fabric.

I did the vertical strips first, then the horizontal strips, so that the black strip is enclosed by the pieced squares strips. This is improv quilting so I am not aiming for straight lines in this case although you can if you like.  Repeat the sequence with black fabric strips. This pattern is known as Courthouse Steps.

Repeat until your black felt background is covered up. I like to tack my strips down before sewing on another strip but that’s an optional step. It takes more time but makes the sewing easier.

6.     Once finished hand stitch the piece with black running stitch on the black fabric strips and a variegated thread on the coloured strips.

7.     Sew on gold beads along the edges of the coloured strips.

8.     Use another of your painted fabrics from step 1 and iron on a piece of Bondaweb (WonderUnder) to the back of it. Using stencil S298 Deconstructed Single Lily Mask and Stencil and mark it out on the Bondaweb. 

Cut out the flower and mark the pattern of the lily on the front with a permanent black marker and outline the pattern with black hand stitching.

9.     Add black binding around the quilt

10.  Add the lily from step 8 to the quilt and stitch it down using buttonhole stitch and a variegated thread. Outline the lily with gold beads and also add beads to the centre of the flower.

© Frieda Oxenham 2024


  1. Love this! Thank you, Freida!

  2. This is such an interesting technique of sewing the stenciled fabric together... I don't know why I've never thought of stenciling with fabric paint! Thank you for all the wonderful ideas, Frieda.


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