Tutorial: Using Adobe Illustrator Draw App with Layers

You might think there is nothing worse than being stuck in the middle seat of a packed airplane on a long light, but I look at it as an opportunity to play. Yesterday between Los Angeles and Raleigh I sketched out several Celtic knots, listened to a great audiobook, and worked on a couple of new drawings that could be used for thermofax screen printing.

I am using Adobe Illustrator Draw on my iPad with an Apple Pencil (responsive stylus) but the free app is available on android tablets as well.I have a fascination bordering on obsession with ammonite fossils – so when I discovered a very large rock embedded with a number of exposed polished fossils under my hostesses coffee table I had a bit of a hard time controlling myself. I did wait until people were out of the room before getting down on hands and knees to photograph the beautiful things. Once I was well ensconced in my flying tin can I pulled out my iPad. I started with cropping each image down to include only the part I wanted to work with. Then I opened the App and clicked the big PLUS sign to start a new project.If I know I’m going to be printing the final product I choose a format with as large a resolution as possible.

Next I import the photo into the app by clicking on the little PLUS on the right and choosing to add an Image Layer.

This will open a selection of choices. You can take a photo straight from the App but I never do that. Instead I choose “on my iPad” to find the image I have already cropped. Sometimes I’ll also boost up the contrast or edit the photo in any way that might help me to better work with it before I import it into this App.

When the App opens the photo it will give you the opportunity to size and rotate the image to fit your chosen format. I worked my photo until it filled up as much of my frame as possible. 

Next, click the PLUS again and add a DRAW layer this time. I like to rearrange to layers so that the photo is underneath the draw layer. Touch and hold the photo layer until it has an orange outline then drag it down so that the draw layer is now above the photo layer.
Now I click the photo layer and slide the OPACITY control down. I can still see the photo clearly but it is knocked back enough that my drawn lines will be dominant. Now click the Draw layer so that it is outlined and you are ready to go.

Choose the top drawing tool, double click it and hold your finger on the size button. Slide your finger up or down to increase or decrease the size of your line. Test it out with a few strokes and see if it works. That little sideways U shaped icon at the top of the screen is your best friend. If you don’t like any mark you just made click that to UNDO it.

Now, Making sure that the draw layer is highlighted, start tracing your image. You can pinch and pull your workspace larger and move it around to work on smaller details. If you create a closed shape you can touch and hold the center of it to fill the shape.

Double click the image layer every once in a while to hide it so that you can see how your drawing is coming along. Once I’m finished I will make sure the drawing layer is hidden then click the box-with-an-arrow icon to save the image to my photos. Then I can print it off or send it to my desktop via email or device sharing if I want to work more in photoshop with sizing.

And there you go…. gorgeous line art ready to make a thermofax screen. You can follow this tutorial to create imagery for your own CUSTOM THERMOFAX SCREENS. (Please also read the instructions and tutorials for sizing your files properly.)

If you’d like to be informed when these new ammonite screens are available for sale, please sign up for Lyric’s mailing list.


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Tutorial: Thermofax + Foil = FUN!

Enjoy this video for making a valentines fabric postcard!
One layer of paint, a second of metallic foil, a third layer of paint.


If you are having trouble seeing the video you can watch it on youtube HERE!

Tutorial: How to Edit a Photo for a Thermofax Screen

I’d like to show you how to take a photograph and prepare it for a thermofax screen. Printing with these screens is one of my very favorite things to do – you can use them with cloth or paper or really – any flat surface. If you don’t have access to a thermofax machine, I have a service where I can create a screen for you from your own images, as well as having a number of ready-made images for you to use.
1- Select an image. Choose something with high contrast – it’s easiest if it has a plain or simple background. Either use your own photography or find something that is copyright free. Wikimedia Commons has a wonderful repository of images under Creative Commons Licenses that are available for you to use. Download the highest resolution available.
Harmann zebra, Hobatere Private Reserve, west of Etosha National Park
Author – moongatclimber
2 – Open your image in your favorite digital editing program. 
I’m using Adobe’s Photoshop Elements (PS10) but the tools I’m using are fairly standard. They might be in a different place – if you have trouble finding them type in the name of the tool in the help window on the toolbar. You can download a trial version of the PS10 and use if free of charge for 30 days.
3- Crop your image.
Use the CROP tool to eliminate extra background. It simply gives you less space to have to fuss with.
4- Remember that command or control Z is your best friend – it’s the “undo” function and will let you back up as many steps as you need to if you don’t like what you’ve done.


\5- Select your subject. Use the magic wand, or some other selection tool to click and select all the way around the edge of your subject. You might need to click a lot in some areas that don’t have a high contrast line – don’t worry if extra space is included – you can erase that in a minute.


Sometimes when I double click I lose the selection. I just clicked too fast and the whole thing disappeared. What I do is just hit command Z again and it reappears.

6- Invert the selection.  The blinky line will now be around the outside of the image and around your subject.



7- Hit Delete and the background will disappear – at least mostly.


8- Control – D deselects everything.


9- Click on the Zoom tool and zoom in so you can see the edges of your work.

You can see that there are areas that need a bit of cleaning up and areas that you might not want to draw attention to. (Sorry guy – you’re going to be gelded.)


10- Choose the eraser tool to clean up your edges. 
Use the slider to change the size of the pixel brush so that it comfortably fits within your picture. Keep the opacity at 100%.

Start working your edges but try not to erase large areas all in one sweep. That way if you accidentally erase something you wanted to keep (remember “control Z!”) you won’t have to re-do large areas.
Continue to zoom in and out, moving around your image and changing the size of your brush to get into any tight areas.


11- Play with the Threshold filter found under the Filter/Adjustments menu. Sometimes it works the first time but sometimes you need to back out and fix some other things first. This is one of those times.

In this case, Mr. Stripes has lost the stripes on his back – he’s not quite ready for the “Threshold” filter yet. Simply hit “cancel” and we’ll do something else.


12- Play with the lighting. Find “Enhance/Lighting” then either “Brightness/Contrast” or  “Shadows/Highlights”. In this case – it is the highlights on the Zebra’s back that are being lost so I’m going to play with those for a bit and see if I can get the black and white stripes to look more even.
I’ve darkened the highlights, played with the shadows and messed with the midtone contrast until it looks like all of the stripes are closer to the same. Notice all the highly technical terms I’ve used – it’s really just messing around with things until you get something you think will work. As you gain experience you’ll be able to come quicker to the place where you can make the image work for a thermofax screen.

13- Try the Theshold function again.  My goal was to keep his eye from disappearing but to still keep the stripes on his back. Just move the slider back and forth until you are happy with your image.

14- Save your image. In fact – it is helpful to take this step quite often during your explorations. Hit File/Save As – (NOT just the automatic save function!) and rename each picture as you go. For instance, Zebra1.jpg, Zebra1.jpg etc.
Another thing to pay attention to when that “save as” screen is up is the “options” button. (I think I might have cut it off in this picture. It’s usually on the bottom right. Slide your “Image Quality” button all the way to maximum. This minimizes the compression that happens every time you save a jpg. If you don’t do this the file size might be so small by the time I get it that it will be too pixelated to use.
And there you have it. A crisp black and white image – no shades of gray – ready to be turned into a thermofax screen for your printing pleasure.

Send it through your thermofax machine or send it off to your favorite thermofax service provider and get ready to play! You’ll be printing in no time at all!



Tutorial: Screen Printed Cat Pillow

Just for fun – over the next week or two I’ll repost some of your favorite tutorials – enjoy!


A couple of weeks ago one of my little ones walked in and said, “will you teach me to make a screen?” Now a very good mother would have done this long ago, especially since this little one has been asking to do this for months. Unfortunately I’m more of the “my studio is MY refuge” kind of mother and I don’t take time out as often as I should to let them into my space. I felt the need to take time for her this time. So glad I did.

She would like to share with you her process.
She things that if she can do it so can you!

General’s Carbon Sketch Pencil

Draw your picture with a carbon pencil and send it through a thermofax machine and thermal-mesh to make a screen. You can also email your image to a thermofax screen service and let someone else make the screen for you.

Lay out your cloth on a padded print surface (mine is a layer of felt under twill) and position your screen. It’s easier to handle a foam brush than a squeegee. Dip it in the paint. With one hand hold the frame, with the other press the brush across the screen. Notice how her finger is pressing the brush? You really need to squish the paint fairly hard to get the paint through to the fabric.

We made a few prints then washed and dried the screen before turning it over and making some facing the other way. We also decided to do some splatter painting over the top of the kitties just for fun. Dip an old toothbrush into the paint and run your finger over it. It makes a really fun mess!

Cut out the kitties and hold them up to the light and make sure they are aligned. Pin the cats and sew a straight stitch around them, leaving a gap about two inches wide. Use pinking shears to trim about 1/4 inch around the outside of the seam.
Stuff your pillow through the gap. I always have left over bits of batting so she tore some of those up and used them.

Squish the batting back into the pillow and stick a pin into it so that it’s easier to sew.

Sew a straight stitch to close the gap.

Pose for a picture with your beautiful little creations. Carry them around and tell everyone you know that you made them yourself. Sleep with them every night.


how it’s made – thermofax screens

Thought you all might be interested in seeing how thermofax screens are made. Enjoy!

You can check out my ready made thermofax screens here in my shop!


heart nouveau

Just in time for Valentines Day!


Heart Nouveau Thermofax Screen






Large = 7″ x 6.5″, Medium = 4.5″ x 4″, Small = 2.6″ x 3″

Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
max image size  3×4
$5.00 $6.00 $10.00
max image size  4×7
$7.00 $9.00 $15.00
max image size  7×9.5
$9.00 $13.00 $18.00







Thermofax ThermoFAQ’s




work in progress: screen printing mill wheels

The days I get to spend in the studio are few and far between… but they make me happy.IMG_8307

A morning spent on photoshop turns a photo into a screen for printing.
(You can see my tutorial for doing that here)IMG_8267

An afternoon spent going back and forth between discharge printing and (ack!) accounting while I waited for the stuff to dry so that I could print the in-between prints on the grid.FullSizeRender-1

I enjoy seeing the potential as each piece emerges – these are just two bits of the yardage I worked on.FullSizeRender-2

celtic star thermofax screens


Celtic Star DECO options

Large Stars = 7″ x 9″
Medium Stars = 4″ x 4.5″
Small Stars = 3″ x 3.4″


Celtic Star QUILTY options



Celtic Star WREATH options


Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

Thermofax 101 with Sue Bleiweiss, Cheryl Rezendes

Today it’s Sue Bleiweiss’ turn to review Thermofax 101. Did you see her recent episode on The Quilt Show? She is fantastic and I love her work. (And she used thermofax screens in her episode there!) I’ll b reviewing her latest book here soon.me_lr29

In order to win her giveaway copy of
Thermofax 101: screen printing made easy
you have to leave a comment on her blog. Be creative and tell her what you love about her work! Be specific. Surprise her with the acuity of your comments. 😉 

Sue Bleiweiss Blog


Cheryl Rezendes also reviewed the DVD.Cher

I reviewed her book a while ago – still love it. Can you figure out how she made me blush? It involves the word “adorable.” and yes, she is having a giveaway too.


Thermofax 101: Leslie tucker Jenison

imageToday is Leslie Tucker Jenison’s turn to review my Thermofax 101 DVD. She has some great tips that I will use going forward – strapping tape! You’ll have to go there to see what she uses it for. image



She will be giving away a DVD to someone commenting on her blog. Best of luck!

Thermofax 101 DVD blog hop and giveaways!

ready, set, GO!

Here we go – review copies are out – people are playing and we are ready to have a party! I’ll be giving away a copy of my DVD at every, single one of these blogs so be sure to stop by and check out what these fabulous artists are creating. Leave comments and share the news with your friends!

And if you want to play right away you can order the DVD here, and Thermofax Screens here.

April 24 Cheryl Rezendez  http://www.cherylrezendes.com

April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com  

April 28  Sue Bleiweiss  http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30  Judy Gula  http://www.artisticartifacts.com/blog/

May 1  Sue Price & Elizabeth Gibson  http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/

May 2  Judy Coates Perez  http://www.judycoatesperez.com

May 4  Linda Stokes  www.lindastokes-textileartist.com

May 5  Jane Davila  http://janedavila.blogspot.com

May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/

May 7  Liz Kettle  http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey

May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com

May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp  http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com

May 12  Desiree Habicht  http://myclothesline.blogspot.com

May 13  Jamie Fingal  http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

May 14  Deborah Boschert  http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com

May 15  Sarah Ann Smith  sarahannsmith.com/weblog

Thermofax 101: preview

It’s  here!!!!

Thermofax 101 DVD $19.95






65 minutes of thorough instruction

Getting Started: what is a thermofax screen
Finding Images: find and design your own
How to Print: printing techniques and tools
Designing: creating cloth with layered imagery

Want to be ready to print when your DVD arrives?
Order Screens
Order Textile Paint

thank you for your order

Your DVD will be arriving as soon as it arrives from the press!


Feel free to take a look around the shop and explore.
You can find 
ready made screens
textile paints
beading DVD’s
beading supplies
Lyric’s book on the Elements of Art 

thermofax wings 1




Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

thermofax wings 2




Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

thermofax heart 1




Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

custom thermofax screens


Untitled-1Guidelines for sending your own artwork

  • Order the number, configuration, and size of screen with the buttons on the right.  Include each file name in the box provided.
  • E-Mail jpgs or pdf separately to lyric@lyrickinard.com.
  • Label your file with your name, a description, and the exact size you want the image (not including the white area around it) to print at. example: Kinard_bird_3.5×5.7
  • Please send a high quality jpg or a pdf file. If you send me a 20kb image and ask for a large screen you will get nothing but a pixilated mess. For print quality a resolution of 300dpi is best.
  • Black and white images only please. Shades of gray don’t always turn out as you wish them to. Try playing with the “THRESHOLD” filter in your digital editing program. Remember that if you make a mistake you an hit “ctrl Z” and it will undo what you just did. Here is a great Photoshop Elements Tutorial to help you with this process.
  • I can do your Photoshop work for you for a fee – please inquire.
  • You can also snail-mail your design with a printed order form and a check. All marks on the paper will show up on the screen so be careful to look for dots and specs.
  • Please keep each design within the size limit for each screen: small 3 x 4, medium 4 x 7, large 7 x 9.5
  • Please send only original or copyright free artwork.
Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00








If you prefer not to use Paypal, please print and fill out this order form and mail a check.

What do I get when I order?

Image Only Image + Frame Print Ready
image imageframe imagemounted
Many people don’t mind printing without a frame. The mesh will curl so you need to stabilize it. Simply “bind” all four edges with duct tape  and you are good to go. I prefer using a frame because you can pick up the screen and move it with one hand. Order this if you would like to tape the mesh onto the frame yourself. If you’d prefer to rip your screen out of the package and print immediately then order it mounted. I mount your screens with waterproof duct tape on BOTH SIDES of the frame. I find that the double sided sticky tape just doesn’t last as long for me. Also – with the tape on both sides you can print with your screen facing either way.
Custom – image only
file name


Custom – image + frame
file name


Custom – print ready
file name


photo 4-1NEED PAINT? Order it here!

Lyric often offers exclusive thermofax sets to her newsletter subscribers:  

thermofax 101: instructional DVD

Welcome! Ready to try screen printing?


Thermofax 101 DVD $19.95





Learn how easy it is to create your own screen printed cloth! Thermofax Screen Printing is easy, fun, and well within your reach.  Let fun-loving artist, Lyric Kinard, guide you through the basics of what, exactly, a thermofax screen is, and how it’s made. Then she helps you begin your own creative journey as she shows you how to find and design your own imagery and how and where to have a custom screen made for you if you don’t have your own machine. Learn all about the basic supplies you will need and then get printing! Lyric will explain the properties of textile paints, how to prepare, care for, and use your screens, and finally how to design and create your own beautiful cloth.


65 minutes of clear instruction

Chapters Include:
Getting Started: what is a thermofax screen
Finding Images: find and design your own
How to Print: printing techniques and tools
Designing: creating cloth with layered imagery

Want to be ready to print when your DVD arrives?
Order Ready Made Thermofax Screens
heart1Order Textile Paint

You might also enjoy
playing with FOILfoil_kit

Need a little help analyzing your artwork?

thermofax design

I thought you might like to see the original design I used and manipulated to create the hearts and wings. It took a few delightfully playful days to go

from this…..heart.wing.1.doverto this.


And from this….wing2.dover heart2.dover

to this.

If you missed out on the heart+wings special don’t worry. I’ll be adding the hearts and wings to the THERMOFAX SHOP soon, albeit individually rather than as sets.

valentines day thermofax + foil special

I’ve spent the past few days blissfully playing with photoshop and some copyright free images from an early-twentieth-century German portfolio of forms from nature. I digitally flip, erase, copy, move, and generally mess around until I see something that simply delights the eye. I hope it delights your eye too!

heart_wings_heart1_570 Here I’ve used opaque white ProFab textile paint, the gold foil, then black paint. 

This kit is not longer available. Please check the Thermofax Shop for other screens.


Step by Step Thermofax + Foil Tutorial can be found HERE.

Here is another option for you.




In this piece I collaged watercolor paper with old sheet music, painted on a layer of gesso and acrylic something or other – I don’t remember. These sheets have been sitting around for too long. The first screen was with transparent red ProFab textile paint. The second layer was foil adhesive then foil. It was sort of a hot mess to print on the textured surface and I’m not sure if I was a mess with my foil adhesive or if the foil reacted differently from the way it behaves on fabric and stuck to the paint on paper. Live and learn. Or I should say PLAY and learn.


art for sale: time flies series

Time Flies
four 10 x 10 gallery wrapped canvases
dyed, printed, painted, stitched

image image

Time Flies I

Time Flies II

image image
 Time Flies III

 Time Flies IV

image  image 
  Time Flies V

 Time Flies VI


new work: XOX

Sometimes an artist needs a friend who steps in and says, “OK STOP! It’s done now!” Sometimes I can keep working a piece for ages. For now, I think I’ll be my own friend and say “It’s done.” (for now at least)

pinkXOX6I think perhaps I’m working in a series as this is the second with this theme (you can see kisses and hugs here) and another one is actually on the design wall waiting for my attention.

I thought you might enjoy seeing the full process. It began with my hand dyed cloth, and some ink doodles from my sketchbook. I made marks with this super cool japanese brush pen then played around with them just a bit in photoshop.

570pxBrush_Strokesjpg 570pxX 570pxSpiral_big

These images are available in my thermofax shop by the way. I grouped and rearranged them a bit for this piece. I like to play with grouping and layering images of different sizes. Then I created Thermofax Screens to print with.pinkXOX1

The first layer of printing was done with Cascade Dishwashing Gel – thick enough to use like paint with enough bleach to discharge the dye. It’s not so strong that you have to hurry with your printing though. Remember it wear gloves and use good ventilation when you do this on your own! Bleach isn’t a chemical you want to mess with.

pinkXOX2The next layer is another fun photoshopped image. I screen printed it with Profab Textile paints, a mix of white, red and a touch of yellow. I like to keep the background prints in an analogous color scheme if I know I’m going to add a focal point color with lots of contrast and pop.

pinkXOX3This layer is two different screens, a full sized X and a full sized Spiral. I printed each screen in solid opaque white Profab Textile Paint then after washing the screens out printed the same images, just barely offset, with opaque yellow. The white really gives the yellow a huge bit of POP, don’t you think? I used some transparent orange paint to brush in a few shadows, opposite of where the white peeks out. If you keep your directions consistent as if a light source was coming from the top of the frame in this case, the highlights and shadows tie you a feeling of depth.

pinkXOX4I think the main composition of the cloth itself was done at this point so I layered and quilted the thing. I chose a thread color to blend with the cloth and stitched it to emphasize the lines that were already existent in the composition. If you look closely you can see that I stitched around a few of the background spirals to emphasize them, but most I stitched right through with my softly straight lines. The geometry of this piece isn’t very rigid.


This was a great “to go” project for the next few months. It was just small enough to fold up and take with me to meetings or on the road. I don’t think I can exactly verbalize why I chose to add the grid of x’s. I had considered emphasizing the smaller spirals with beads but I didn’t have the right colors (a peachy pink that wouldn’t be too flashy) in my stash. I think I just wanted a hand project to work on and I love further emphasizing the 1/3 – 2/3 compositional structure. A contrasting thread color further brings out the XOX but the small scale of the embroidered pattern and the repetition of the X keeps it from becoming a dominant element.

pinkXOX6I had finished it off and thought it done until I put it up on the wall to photograph. Then I felt the embroidered grid was a little unbalanced, and I wanted some more hand work to do while watching an episode of Sherlock late one night. I LOVE that show! I rarely, rarely, rarely watch TV so it’s nice to find a series on Netflix that will keep me interested but I can get through in a year. Yup – it will take me more than a year to find time to watch all 8 or 9 episodes. 

So what do YOU think?
Done now?
A few more stitches?
If the right color bead happen along should I add them?

It will probably go out to a show for now as I’ve finally got some cloth dyed so I can keep working on the first set of XOX print that are still patiently waiting on my design wall. If I feel like it later I can add more to this piece… but for now finished is a word I’m loving. And if you’ve stuck with it and read all the way down to the end of this post – I’m impressed! I really don’t mean to get so long winded, really I don’t.

As a treat for you – I’ve discounted these three screens (X, Sprial-bog, and Brush Strokes) for you in my thermofax shop for at least a week – or until I remember to change the prices back. Enjoy!



work in progress: something whimsical and very pink

art_quilt_pinkA little stitch here, a little stitch there.

surface design sampler platter

There is a reason I love teaching the Surface Design Sampler Platter!

kinard_surface_design_students6Many of the students haven’t ever painted cloth before.
kinard_surface_design_students10And look what they do!?!
kinard_surface_design_students9They carve stamps,
kinard_surface_design_students1screen print and stencil,
kinard_surface_design_students3learn to layer imagery,
kinard_surface_design_students2do photo transfer,
kinard_surface_design_students7… and even learn to bead!
kinard_surface_design_students5We call it “drinking from a fire hose!”
kinard_surface_design_students8We also call it…

 Thank you to the wonderful women in Fort Collins, CO for two days of wonderful play time!!!

New Work: Inspired by Libby

Like much of the rest of the eastern United States, the winter of 2014 in North Carolina was wickedly wild. One week we will had lovely 70 degrees and the next week (or even the next day) it froze. And unlike the North, we are unprepared. No snow tires, very few plows, no snow shovels. Of course I still have a snow shovel but even when it snows I rarely use it. Everything shuts down so I don’t need to get out of the driveway – why bother. It will melt the next day anyway.IMG_8284So during one of these “shut down” snow days when I couldn’t get out or run my errands I played with fabric. I had some lovely screen printed cloth and a great inspiration.

LALatMachine_500Libby Lehman is one of the greats! She has been a talented quilt artist and one of the best teachers there is for longer than I’ve been quilting. Last year she had a devestating stroke at much too young an age.

1920566_10152079666832762_756236289_nA number of artists have been invited to use one of her quilts as inspiration to create a work of their own. These quilts, inspired by Libby, will be exhibited then auctioned, raising funds to help defray some of her medical expenses. 

IMG_8285Once my quilt top was printed and pieced I played a little further with paint then slapped the piece up on my design wall while I played with the kids for a while. 

IMG_8288When I came back to take a look at the work the circles just weren’t enough so I added a few more, quilted some straight lines to contrast with the circular elements and once again, set the piece aside for a while. 

IMG_2424The next morning I decided that the piece needed some warmth to contrast with all those cool colors. I didn’t even think about how vibrant a predominantly primary color scheme would look until it was done. A few darker orange swipes to add some depth of value and I think we are done. I’ll let you know when the pieces go on display and when they will be auctioned.

At the end of February Ricky Timms and his partner, Justin were able to visit Libby in her home. She was able to answer the door herself with the aid of a walker. Good for you Libby!!!!!

New Work table topper project from Lynn Krawczyk’s book, Intentional Printing

TA DA!!!
It’s finished!

IMG_9109This printed piece was inspired by a project in the book
Intentional Printing
By Lynn Krawczyk
(You can read my review here. The giveaway for US residents is still open – go there and leave a comment for your chance to win this fabulous book!)

I learned several things in the process of making this piece:IMG_91111- perhaps insulated batting plus another layer of regular cotton batting (I want it to be a giant hot pad for my dining room table) might be too much to wrestle with going through my home machine. Even with fuse basting and using a walking foot the layers wanted to separate and shift.


2- I found that didn’t care enough about perfection to take the time to make this piece perfectly square. I know I could have done it but finished was better in my mind than perfect. I did cut the batting and backing perfectly square before quilting but the stitching distorted things. I had left the top bigger with the intention to fold it to the back as a fused facing. I went ahead and did it that way. If I had trimmed the whole thing then added a sewn on facing it would be square, but not done. Knowing my tendency to put things off if I don’t like a technique I went ahead and finished it. Guess what!? I LOVE IT!

And just to make you feel a little better – this is what the table looked like before I cleaned it up to take the picture. My youngest daughter decided to work on her own project while I worked on mine. She made the bat toy – a lovely addition to her growing collection. She’s made a giant squid and an octopus so far. She has since embroidered a giant red smile on the bat. No help or instruction from me – she just makes up patterns and cuts and sews. Things fall off sometimes and if she cares enough she will fix them. I do give her instruction if she asks for it, or sometimes just suggest an easier way to do something but I don’t make her do it my way. She will learn by making mistakes and perhaps will still love creating things instead of remembering sewing as a chore.


And now – to all my dear and patient international readers – if you want a chance to win a copy of INTENTIONAL PRINTING please leave a comment here. And no, I decided not to ask you to chip in on shipping. It will be my gift to you. Just tell me one idea you might have for paying the gift of creativity forward. Whether it’s sharing your talent with the next generation or being brave enough to send your own work out to a wider audience, I want to hear how your creativity makes the world a better place. I will pick a winner next Sunday the 13th of April.

Congratulations go to Arlene in Papua New Ginea!!! She is the lucky winner of Lynn’s fabulous book.

Do me a favor everyone – let your other international friends know this is available. Share this post via FaceBook or whatever your favorite social media outlet is.
Intentional Printing - jacket artAnd if you can’t wait to win, perhaps you want to purchase the book.
You can buy it  from Interweave / F+W Media for $26.99 bit.ly/NCGKHb
or you can purchase a signed copy directly from the author herself at https://www.etsy.com/shop/SmudgedTextilesShop?ref=em

Work in progress & Giveaway

Yesterday was a lovely day in the studio. While the rest of the country gets snow to play with (and shovel) we just get lots of cold drizzly rain.  I had my usual million mile long list of things to do but didn’t. Instead I made time for some actual art making. I call myself an artist so you think I would do that more often. 



I actually worked back and forth between two pieces of cloth that were cut down into smaller pieces when I moved from printing overall texture to composition.


Flipping back and forth gave me time to think about what to do next with the cloth on the design wall while I was printing the cloth on the table.


Layers of imager were added in varying levels of transparency.

I’m back from scurrying around to all my appointments this morning and am going to get OFF the computer and spend an hour working on these a little bit more.

Tomorrow is another book giveaway so today is another pair of mini-thermofax screens.
Leave a comment here telling me about your working style.
Do you prefer working on once piece from start to finish or are you as scatterbrained as I am? (nobody is as scatterbrained as I am!) I’ll choose a winner next Wednesday.



Signature Series
acrylic on board
framed at 14×14


Prints & Greeting Cards of this series available at Lyric’s ETSY shop






Common Time



Cut Time



Half Time



Major Key



Minor Key



Key of F sharp



Key of F major



Three Quarter Time


IMG_2377on display in the reading room at the Cameron Village Library

Work in Progress: In Search of the Old Ones

I would have to go and change my mind about these pieces. I had an idea and just had to follow it through to see where it would lead.photo-11

I’m mostly happy with it but am still thinking about the upper right side of the horizontal piece. I don’t want to stitch in the trees and background but am not sure what to do with it.photo-12

This is when it’s a good time to set it aside for a little bit and let it rest. When things get to this stage and I push through I often regret my design choices. The art usually turns out better when it I have time to ponder various scenarios.photo-13

On-Line Class: Freeform Screen Printing

Registration is open for one of my favorite classes over at QuiltUniversity.com.
Freeform Screen Printing
four lessons, one opening each week beginning September 27th


  • Lesson One
  • Preparing your materials and workspace
  • The mechanics of printing
  • Paper stencil screens
  • Lesson Two
  • Found materials and other resists
  • Finger blending
  • Plastic stencil screens
  • Bonus – discharge printing
  • Lesson Three
  • Flour paste screens
  • Preparing images for Thermofax screens
  • Printing with Thermofax screens
  • Printing yardage
  • Lesson Four
  • Cheap and easy home-made frames
  • Glue and paint screens
  • Spray paint screens
  • Bonus – drawing fluid and filler

The class will be open for almost seven weeks.

An extra week is built in before one of the lessons to let you order or create your own Thermofax screen.

Beginning experiments by Charlotte Robinson

I’ll be checking into the class forum each day to answer any and all questions you might have.

Layered prints by Maggie Birchenough

I’ve got to say that Quilt University is one of the best deals out there. $41 for four lessons and that much of my time is an absolute steal!

Stenciled screen by Sue Price

 We’ll have a ton of fun – and best of all, you don’t have to haul stuff anywhere!

Screened discharge with a tape resist by Elizabeth Gobson

 I hope to see you there!
sign up at

The Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop – Giveaway

Welcome to another stop on
The Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop!

Over there I’ve described a little bit of the inspiration and sketchbook work I’ve done that has led to the beginnings of a new series. I’ve spent some lovely time with a few of the thousands of photos from last month’s road trip, lots of lovely time on photoshop, and time in the studio with paint and cloth. Photos of petroglyphs from Mesa Verde were turned into thermofax screens for some lovely little prints.

photo 1-6Lots of stitching still to come.photo 2-6These small pieces will be mounted on gallery wrapped canvas.
photo 3-6This is one of my photographs printed onto cloth – not sure where this is going yet.

Now for something fun. I’d love to share my love of thermofax screen printing with you! Two lucky winners will receive one large thermofax screen each. You can choose one of my ready made screens or I’d be happy to create a screen from your own image. You could use photoshop elements to create your own image – just follow this tutorial.

Leave a comment here by Friday the 20th.
Tell me what has inspired you today!
Do you use a sketchbook?
Do places inspire you too?
(make sure I have a way to get hold of you if you are the winner!)

A little project…

I have a little girl who loooooves to make stuff. Actually – most of my children love to make things.

This one is a little different from the others in that everything she wants to make seems to requires my full participation. (sigh. If I were a better mother this would not be a problem.) She begged all through Christmas break to do some screen printing and it took until the very last evening of break for me to finally get around to helping her out.

Of course it took about that long to unpile the studio, which had become the repository for piles of wrapping paper and shipped boxes. That was of course, on top of the piles of shipping boxes and stuff from teaching all year mess. She says she also love snakes. She drew one and I messed around with it in Photoshop Elements until we had three screens with various sized snakes. And then we made a few thermofax screens.

Now we have another project underway that she can ask about – repeatedly. “Mom, when are we going to work on my tote bag?” And I can say “When everyone’s homework is finished and I’m back from taking your brothers to hockey and dinner is made.” It might be a while. One thing I love about this girl is that she is persistent. It takes dedication and determination to become an artist, right?!

Work In Progress: The Artbox CSA

In November there will be a fabulous new set of Art Boxes for sale at
 The Artbox CSA

If you’ve been thinking a bit about purchasing one of the current boxes there are still just a couple left. Once the new group opens the old set will not be available at such a fantastic price. I suggest you buy now if you’re waffling – you won’t find a more beautiful collection of artwork at better prices anywhere.

I thought I’d give you a peek at what’s been going on in my studio in preparation.

First – a little bit of screen printing. I’m a little bit obsessed with circles. Well, when I have not been?

Next a little bit, just a little bit, of piecework.

Then a little bit of play – fusing some fun bits.

These are six different pieces that will be wrapped around an 8″x8″ gallery wrapped canvas, 1 1/2″ deep. There is a lot of extra fabric around the main central area that will be wrapped around the edges and back of the canvas.

Take a look at some of the other artwork that is bound for this endeavor.
Kathy York 

Sue Bleiweiss 

Judy Coates Perez

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