Printing and free machining onto Solufleece.

Printed and painted Bondaweb lifted off the backing paper, torn and ironed into place onto a canvas decorated with more painted Bondaweb an old newspapers.

 I have had a few days to play - a rare treat. I have been making samples for the new show at Excel next week and for my upcoming workshop at West Dean College. Solufleece and the new self adhesive Solufix are very popular at the moment. I thought you might like to know about printing onto Solufleece.

Teaching across the country as I do it is very apparent that many of you are not confident in your drawing skills. A way around this is to use printing blocks, your own or commercial designs. As Solufleece is water soluble you would think that printing onto it with (wet) paint would make it dissolve - not if you stretch it first.

 A selection of wooden blocks from Art Van Go

 Boxes of blocks in many designs as well as single designs are available from Colouricious

Those of you who have seen the Creative Bondaweb DVD or recent excerpts from it will have seen me printing onto Bondaweb then tearing and overlapping it onto a decorated canvas then ironing it in place. I was looking at the canvas yesterday and thought it needed a bit of definition.

I use the following techniques in several of my newspaper based courses. 
Stretch your Solufleece in an embroidery ring making sure it is as tight as you can get it with out ripping the Solufleece. Using a sponge, apply a small amount of paint onto a sponge and dab the painted sponge onto your block. This way you get a controlled amount of paint to print with. Print the block onto your stretched Solufleece. You now have a design to free machine over.
My well used fish block.
 I clean my blocks with baby wipes as soon as I have finished printing. Try not to allow the paint to dry on your block. You will loose small ares of the design as they will get blocked with paint.

Of course, you can then end up with lots of printed baby wipes which you can then dry out, dye and then use for another project . . .  it's never ending isn't it???

 A tip my tutor gave me when I first learned to free machine at the tender age of eighteen (a lifetime ago), was to bring the bobbin thread up through your work before you start and hang onto both threads while you make the first couple of stitches, then you can cut the threads off. This gives you a good start and your machine is unlikely to stall or for the bobbin thread to get all caught up.

 Free machine over and around your design, you can take a bit of artists licence and extend lines, leave lines out - it's up to you.
  Once your  design is completely stitched and you made sure that all stitches link up you can dissolve the Solufleece from around your design. To do this trim all excess Solufleece and dip into a bowl of cold, warm or hot water. It works at any temperature. If you have a delicate design, you might like to pin it to an old polystyrene tile or similar so that your design holds it shape as you dissolve the Solufleece. Lacy designs can get into a right muddle and it can be difficult to unravel them.

If you are working on fabric or paper you can hand stitch your free machined design in place. As my fish was to go onto an already decorated canvas I had to stick it on. I used texture gel for this. It makes a good glue and a great varnish as well.

 I hope this helps those of you who are wary of drawing free hand.


I also had to start thinking about my new workshop at West Dean College coming up in May - Shimmer and Shine, experimental textile surfaces.

We will using brightly coloured cans, sweet wrappers and Solufleece to make all manner exciting surfaces. I love the contrast of the metal with the free machine stitching - and of course it's shiny - I love shiny!!!!

Cutting shapes with a hole punch.

As always the spaces in between always fascinate me. They are great fun to stitch over.

I have more samples to make but thought I would show you what I have done so far. has gone bonkers this week, mainly with orders for Hot Spots! thanks to the article in Stitch magazine this month. Bondaweb is also selling well thanks to the Colouricious newsletter about me going out this week.
I need to get all the orders out before I leave for Excel on Wednesday morning. 

If you haven't seen the excerpts from the Bondaweb DVD they are linked in the Coluricious newsletter at the end of this paragraph. Have a strong Vodka in hand and remember - I am built for radio. . . . . . Note to self - don't wear new contact lenses when filming - you spend the whole time blinking!!!!   
The Colouricious Newsletter

Have a great Easter.

x x x


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