review: surface design essentials DVD by Sue Reno

November 13, 2014

I truly enjoy seeing the various publications about Surface Design that come out. Even though I feel fairly knowledgeable about most techniques – especially the ones I use often like Thermofax Screen Printing – there is always something new to learn. Always. I also find it fascinating to watch someone else’s process – everyone does things just a little bit differently.Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt[3]


Sue Reno recently made a wonderful DVD for Quilting Arts called Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt. She actually uses a few techniques that I have never used such as cyanotype printing a process that’s been around since 1842. Sue uses pretreated fabric, lightly presses natural materials (plants, flowers, leaves, etc) and the two together with a little sunlight make magic.

SueReno_TheOrganicLandscapeDetail1[3]The process looks fascinating and I’ve always loved Sue’s work The limitation is that your end product is limited to blue background and white cloth although you can change the blue to brown by washing the fabric with phosphate containing detergents. Is that cool or what!? I haven’t had time to play with it yet but let me tell you – it’s on my list now!SueReno_TheOrganicLandscapeDetail4[3]

Sue also demonstrates some wonderful heliographic printing but lets you know that you can use a heat source (she sometimes uses her wood stove in the winter) or the sun to make beautiful negative prints. She makes me want to plant a plume poppy. You’ll have to watch the video to find out why. Except that I’ll tell you she calls it a “great big adorable thug”. I love anthropomorphized plants! Even thuggish ones. Yes – another technique to play with has been added to my list.

And then of course Sue also talks about thermofax screen printing. I admire that she carefully pins down each piece of cloth and the screen as well before she prints. If I were that careful I’d probably get cleaner prints right? She uses taped screens (no frame) with a foam brush instead of a squeegee and gets great results. I love the way she combines photographic prints with a screen print of the same image.SueReno_WattShand9[3]

I always love it when there is a chapter that shows the artists design process where she uses her printed cloth in finished artwork. Sue has a plethora of really lovely works that she shows and explains, even down to the quilting. And gotta say – I love her quilting. That’s the step I always sort of dread but she gave me some good ideas about how to think about it.

Sue’s Quilting Arts Workshop, “Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt”
is now available as both a DVD ($24.99)
or a digital download ($19.99)
from the Quilting Daily Shop

If you want to read more about the DVD each of these talented artists has also posted a review and I encourage you to check them out!

11/5/14: Sue Reno

11/6/14: Susan Brubaker Knapp

11/7/14: Allie Aller

11/8/14: Diane Doran

11/9/14: Vivien Zepf

11/10/14: Virginia Spiegel

11/11/14: Cynthia St. Charles

11/12/14: Natalya Aikens

11/13/14: Lyric Kinard

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    kristin Freeman
    November 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I look forward to having this DVD from Sue Reno. Her work has been an inspiration to me for many years and it will be wonderful to see her process in creating an amazing body of fine work. It would be pure delight to be a giveaway winner.

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