I have really enjoyed seeing the wonderful printed fabrics Jesse exchanged and received in her swatch swap (flickr group here), and I really wanted to participate. But I’ve never printed fabric before, let alone cut out a lino block (eek), so I thought I’d approach things from a rather basic level first, using a rubber stamp. I bought some fabric paint and plain, medium weight calico, and had a go yesterday with a stamp I acquired in a set of stationery.

It took me a while to discover the right proportion of paint to block, and a little longer to think through the block spacing, but soon I was printing away very happily. I found the look and colour of the final printed fabric very pleasing: I like blue on white generally, but indigo on calico is a winning combination. It recalls, for me, the very particular look of American nineteenth-century household linens. When I see an indigo printed fabric, in fact, I tend to think of Deborah Norris Logan (notable for many things, including her design of a wonderful indigo print that I had the pleasure of seeing here)

After drying and fixing the print overnight, I made a few kitchen things with the fabric this morning: above, a place mat; below, a tea towel.

I made a few napkins too.
Much as I like these indigo butterflies (and I do) I really want to try cutting and printing my own design. There are good instructions for this sort of thing in my trusty collection of Dryad Handicraft Leaflets, but, as I am such a novice, I wondered if you had any suggestions for me (particularly as regards materials). Should I just start with a homely potato and work my way up from there?