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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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


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max image size  3×4
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max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

Thermofax 101 is almost here!!!!

I’ve got a tracking number and have been giddily mapping the progress of a very large shipment of DVD’s – making it’s way slowly across the country. They are almost here! I’ve got a stack of shipping supplies and labels all ready to go.

I’ve also got a little surprise to add in to each pre-order as a sincere thank you to everyone who has been so patient with my manufacturing delays.

The pre-order offer of free shipping only lasts until Monday night (along with the surprise gift) so if you were thinking of jumping in, do it now!

Available now!Thermofax_cover_web800pxh


Thermofax 101 DVD $19.95


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

New Work: just some samples

So apparently my “less is more” functionality lasted about 1 month. Or at least until my teaching schedule started. Since then I’ve felt completely overwhelmed again – too many things on my plate. There is a ton going on behind the scenes with getting the new DVD’s ready for you.Kinard_photos_foil6There are family things that are taking up more time than usual. Or I suppose – that IS the usual. There are other things in the works for later on in the year that are taking up time now. So the “less” part this past month or two has been blogging.Kinard_photos_foil5

So it’s nice when the things on the “to-do” list are fun. And it’s even nicer when they serve more than one purpose. These little sweetlings are samples for a class I’ll be offering at the International Quilt Festival this October called “Photos + Foil = Fun!” It will be one of those fun, I bring everything for you, kind of classes.Kinard_photos_foil2_web

They are also running off right away to Susan Brubaker Knapp who may or may not show them on one of the mini-demos she’ll be busy filming soon for the next season of Quilting Arts TV. She’s going to demo how to use foil with thermofax screens. (You can find the butterfly wings thermofax screen here.)

In case you missed the news – Susan and I will be teaching a retreat together at the Once In A Blue Moon retreat October 1 – 3 in beautiful Black Mountain, NC (near Asheville.) RetreatLogoBlack_webThere were only 11 spots left last time we checked so if you were interested you might want to send in your registration form now! I’d LOVE to see you there!

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:  

welcome Quilting Arts holiday blog hoppers!

Can you believe it’s autumn already?

I blinked and summer flew by. Before I know it the cold and the holiday season will be here.
It’s got me thinking.
(uh oh – that’s always dangerous!)
beaded_snowflakes2_lyric_kinardSo many people get stressed out about the holidays but it’s my favorite. Believe it or not it’s one of my slowest and most relaxed times of the year. I’ve worked hard to make it that way. I don’t travel and I won’t take on deadlines from Thanskgiving until mid January. My husband and I did something years ago that has made a huge difference for our family. We sat down together and figured out what parts of the holidays we loved and what parts made us crazy.

love_every_momentFor us it is family time, service, and music that bring joy. We absolutely love Christmas and concerts (we play in and go to as m any as we can fit in) and the trees and decorations on the homes and especially the joyfulness of giving – but the commercial aspect of giving has turned us off. Shopping went waaaaaaaaaay down to the bottom of the list. So we decided not to shop. Since they were born our children have only ever received one “Santa” gift and a few small things to fit in their stockings on Christmas morning. The kids know to only ask for one thing and have never come up with long lists of items they are craving. Instead, they come with us for the service projects we take on. They do the shopping with us for the giving tree at school and help us go all-out to help other families. Their favorite thing to do is dressing up like spies (all in black) and doing the ring-and-run-gift-basket-drop on someone’s doorstep. And no – we are not the angelic perfect family you are imagining… we’ve had our full share of whiny toddlers and surly teenagers at all of these events. Getting them to participate in all the things we love isn’t easy. What has amazingly and surprisingly worked is that nobody has yet thrown any fits about what stingy parents we are. At least not where we could hear it. 🙂

beaded_snowflakes6_lyric_kinardAs they have gotten old enough we also MAKE STUFF! We live in the usually temperate mid-atlantic region of the United States where we rarely see snow so often we will have a full day of snowflake cutting and every window of the house will be full of intricate paper beauties. And of course because I am a textile artist and just happen to have, oh, five hundred thousand yards of cloth in the house, we often make things from fabric. My two youngest (I have five!) have been begging me to do some more screen printing with them so this year I do believe we will be printing snowflakes as well.

beaded_snowflakes4_lyric_kinardIt works out wonderfully well as that just happens to be the project that I’ve shared with you all in this year’s Quilting Arts Holiday magazine. Convenient eh? We might even get as far as beading the snowflakes – the kids are perfectly capable of doing it so long as nobody requires perfection. (We definitely don’t do perfection at our house!!!) 

Lyric_kinard_QA_holiday_magazine_2014In the magazine I describe how to use the screens (there are also video tutorials available here on my website) and some basic beading techniques. (You can see lots more beading instruction on my DVD, Bead It Like You Mean It.)

QAHol14 coverYou can find the issue HERE. It is chock full of other fabulous projects for you to create.

And here is a gift for YOU!
I will be shipping out a copy of the magazine to one lucky reader who leaves a comment here. (If you are an international reader please only enter if you are willing to pitch in on shipping costs.)

Leave a comment here telling me your favorite thing about the holiday season.

Really think about it.
What do you love and what stresses you out.
Find a way to eliminate or minimize at least one thing that gets in the way of what you love about the holidays.

update – congratulations to Lauren MacDonald for winning a copy of the magazine!
Thank you all for your thoughtful comments!

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.47.24 AM


And…. if you want to create your own sweet little beaded snowflake ornaments you can purchase a kit from Interweave here.


It contains all the beads you will need, beading thread and needle, and two 5″ snowflake thermofax screens. Can’t you just see this with blue snowflakes on a white background? I might need to go make some more.

beaded_snowflakes1_lyric_kinard_And just in case you love these four sweet little snowflakes they are available for purchase.
Four printed, stitched, and beaded snowflakes. Framed at 6.25″ x 6.25″ each.
$210.00 includes shipping.
Please e-mail  me if you are interested.

published! quilting arts holiday magazine

QAHol14 coverhttp://www.quiltingdaily.com/blogs/quiltingartsgifts/default.aspx

Take a peek at the new HOLIDAY magazine by Quilting Arts.
(it used to be called GIFTS)

7762.QA-Holiday_QA5-135I have a sweet little thermofax screen printed and beaded snowflake project. You’ll hear more about that in a bit.

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

As I’m coming closer and closer to my truer artistic voice (I should write about that) the work that takes careful thought and considerable time and effort becomes more and more enjoyable. The works that make my soul sing have multiple layers of visual texture but are becoming more and more neutral as far as color is concerned.


So in the midst of this wonderfully painstaking work I find myself taking quick little breaks to play.


I find related images and layer them into the cloth with thermofax screens, discharging color first then adding paint.


Even pink, which is a color I usually shy away from, emerges as a welcome option.

All of these screens are available in various sizes in my thermofax shop.
Pop over and take a look – or doodle some of your own designs and I’ll make a custom screen for you.


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

Itty bitty little screens

Even a tiny little ATC (Artist’s Trading Card) needs a focal point, somewhere to rest the eye. These cards-in-progress are a mere 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ – sweet to hold art in the palm of your hand eh?

Sometimes it is a blast working in this VERY small format. So small that it doesn’t matter if you mess up.
These thermofax screens are so small that they don’t need a frame at all. Just use duct tape to “bind” the edges and it will hold it stiff enough to get a clean print. If you are interested in making screens this small you can arrange a number of images on one page and order one full sized imaged screen. Just make sure to give it enough space around each image to cut it into it’s own little rectangular screen.
Today’s giveaway is another set of little bitty thermofax screens. These two are DaVinci sketches, perfectly sized for Artist Trading Cards.
imageLeave a comment telling me who your favorite master artist is.
What can you learn from studying their work?
I’ll choose a winner a week from today.

giveaway: mini thermofax screens

Congratulations to Autumn Adams who is the winner of Desriee Habicht’s pattern book and fabric bundle. In answer to my question, “how does art help you through the rough times?”  she said that “The wonderful thing about creating is that it puts you in the “now” so that while we are grieving we are also celebrating life because creating is giving birth.” I wholeheartedly agree.


Today, because I would rather spend some time making art instead of writing about it, I am going to give away a sweet little set of mini thermofax screens. I know it is hard to see them – they are a pair of royal seagulls dressed up in their funky finest… a small version of the pair I used (in a different technique) for this piece.


Today I hope to spend lots of time in the studio – screen printing. I spent the morning repairing all the broken paypal buttons on my thermofax paint page – did you know I get to carry ProChem’s textile paint now? It’s totally my favorite for screen printing. I have them in the basic primary and neutral kits as well as my favorite three pearlescent silver, gold, bronze mix.photo 4-1

Leave a comment here telling me what kind of art you would love to make on a cold, wet, shut-in kind of day.

I’ll pick a winner next Tuesday.

Surface Design: thermofax screen printing

photo-7A few minutes to play with some thermofax screens. I love this scribble screen.

photo-3A little more time playing with pictures from our road trip… and more screen printing. I think this is just the beginning of a series.

photo-4This is another technique that is included in my class, Surface Design Sampler Platter at the Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat. I know you want to – come on and play!

More about Thermofax Screen Printing can also be learned in my upcoming on-line class at QuiltUniversity.com called Freeform Screen Printing. It opens on September 27th and includes a new lesson each week for four weeks. The classroom will be open several weeks after that -which makes for a nice relaxed pace and plenty of time to ask me lots and lots of questions. You can sign up for it here!

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