Screen Printing Free Form Letters

This blog post is intended as a bonus for those enrolled in my More Text on Textiles online course that started on Joggles today. 

Now, it's not too late to join in the fun, so if you are interested in this 4-week, PDF based course (with an online forum during the next 6 weeks), head on over to this link for enrollment info --

It's an affordable way to get your feet wet with putting words, quotations, pithy comments and other thoughts (yours and others) on your art quilts, art cloth, wearable art or mixed media pieces.

Using letter forms for screenprinting stencils is another way to use your cut letters. P.S. This post assumes you have a basic knowlege of screenprinting. If not, go to this site to see a demo at This is a demo that takes you through the entire process, making your own screen. You can purchase them ready-made at many art supply stores. This demo shows all kinds of stencils, and you will be using your cut letters as the stencil. YOU don't need a clamped frame, I just move my small screen over the fabric. 

Because these letters will be used as a one time stencil, then thrown away, I usually just use old newspaper or sheets of newsprint, or recycled copy paper. Newspaper is really great because it is really thin and adheres to the screen and wet ink really well.

Any thin flat paper will work, but if you want a reusable stencil, cut your letters with contact paper (backing side up, the sticky side goes against the back of the screen).

 You can use any clean silkscreen for your tool. Occasionally I even use one with defects or blocked areas, for a distressed kind of print.

 Free-hand cut your word or words from your choice of paper (instructions are in the first lesson of More Text on Textiles). Then use small folds of masking tape (one or two per letter only), and tape your letters on the back (bottom) of the screen. Your words should read correctly through the screen unless you are intentionally reversing them. This is a great time to teach yourself to cut serif letters or letters that enlarge some iconic type (like those used by Corita Kent in her work).

Screenprint onto ironed flat fabric with thickened dye (see the Dharma catalog for easy instructions and supplies), textile screen printing ink, or other inks. Use a padded surface under your fabric.

Use your word as a repeat, or as a one-time print. When finished wipe down the screen, remove the letters and wash. Let textile ink prints dry, then iron to set. Thickened dye prints need to be batched, as with any dye painted fabrics.









Traveling with Text

With my aquisition (thanks to birthday bonanza from Linda) of a NEW iPad with the camera, I am afire with digital imaginings. Here are some of my most recent experiments using several iPad apps one on top of another, as well as a few text-based Mixel collages.

The one above was a "physical" collage made with text cut from magazines (one of the exercises in my Text on Textiles courses, like that I am teaching on Joggles right -- and in the summer semester, too). I then photograhed it with the smart phone, sent it to the Cloud and my iPad and altered the colors with an app called PhotoPad (free, and a good photo editing tool). Then I drew on top of that saved image with some other tools and also erased part of the  image -- it looks to me like "Pollock takes on text."

Below is another physical collage that was altered, first with an iPad app called ArtistaHaikuHD that gives one a variety of watercolor effects/filters to use on photos.  Then I loaded that saved image into the PhotoPad App and played around with the colors. Que Cool!

Here's the watercolor versions in ArtistaHaikuHD:

How did I start? You can see the original here. 

 Or, rather the intermediate stage that was done on Mixel. The first product was actually this little 4 by 6 collage (shown here with two copies taped together):

WOW! It's amazing how these tools can morph one image SO MANY ways. I love to play with the possiblilities -- so the challenge is not in fluency, it's in when to quit and put my hands back on the wheel, so to speak. Where does what I can do only with hands happen?

Here's one way:

Print it with inkjet transfers on an old piece of tablelinen:





Exhibit at University Presby

I  have a small but, I think, quite nice, exhbit of work at University Presbyterian Church in the SOL Center. It will be up through Easter, and I will be doing an artist talk on the coming Sunday after services (noonish?).

The church is at Bushnell and Shook in San Antonio. And, as a born-amd-bred Presbyterian, it's an honor to be there -- there is something really satisfying about having more than one or two pieces of work in a public forum. It is a pleasure to see 15 or so pieces of work all on nice walls all in the same space. The work in the show is from 2009 to now, with quite a bit new work. I see it differently on a wall that is not my own.

I admit to having some misgivings about not being in a "proessional" venue with my work. There aren't many such available in this community; textile art is marginalized between art and craft. No excuses: I also am not the best at spending time and effort finding exhibit opportunities. Meanwhile, with the help of friends, this one came my way; the space is quite nice; I had lovely help hanging the show; it has an interesting and valued stream of people going through it for classes, events, church services and more. So if you get a chance, stop by. Ask at the church office if the Sol Center is locked. Ask for prices if you are interested in purchasing work -- 25% of purchase price goes to the church.

Save the date...

Coming to an internet near you:

Text on Textiles online 4 classes (5ths optional and free) at JOGGLES. 

And more specifically here.

Start Date: Thursday March 15, 2012
Class: Text On Textiles
Instructor: Susie Monday
Cost: $45/4 lessons

This class is scheduled to begin on March 15, 2012.

NOTE: This class requires use of an all-in-one printer/copier or desktop copier with the ability to enlarge and reduce printed images. The techniques used make use of copies and prints from such a copier/printer. Optional techniques included also involve use of a computer and digital camera.

Have you ever wanted to incorporate a favorite word, poem or quote into an art quilt, garment, art doll or other textile project -- going beyond simply writing or embroidering the text? Or do letter forms and shapes appeal to your sense of design? This surface design/mixed media class will give you a set of process tools for making text and words an integral part of artfully designed fabrics that you can use in a wide variety of projects.

Starting with design exercises that encourage a unique expression of your creativity and interests, you’ll learn three specific techniques for transfers of text, words and writing to fabric using ink-jet printing, polymer medium and textile paints. 

On to Philadelphia!

I wish! If I could do anything and money were no object, well, I would be there at the joint SDA and SAQA Conference and FiberPhiladelphia coming up in a couple of months. I am waiting for a sign from the universe that money IS no object, but it hasn't come yet!

One nice thing, though. I will be represented by a piece of work in the Art Cloth Network exhibit LINES AND NUMBERS, a combined exhbit of two juried shows, one determined by size and the other by the placement of a line in the fabric composition. Its just a treat to see how each artist handled these challenges, and each work shows the strength and voice of each individual.

If you'd like to see more, Barbara Schneider, one of the Art Cloth Network's team who has made this show possible (along with Dianne Hricko and Judy Langille, in particular), you can order a catalog from BLURB here: 

Lines and Numbers Two Exhibitions by the Art Cloth Network Barbara J. Schneider


Barbara says:

If you go to this link (above) it will take you directly to our book. You have options then as to whether you want your copy to be soft cover or hardcover or with a dust jacket. The ones I ordered are black linen with dust jacket for $33.95 each plus shipping.  Soft cover is 22.95. I would not recommend the IMAGE WRAP hard cover. If you are planning to order before end of January they have a $10 off code NEWBK2012 if you spend over $50.  You can decide on shipping which reduces the cost of you don't need it ASAP.

Here's the piece I have in the exhibit (exhibit originally titled 24 by 90, juried by Els van Baarle).

This is a second piece inspired by the same sunny day walk by my neighbor's century tree agave, swarming with hummingbirds.

and here is a detail of the first:

Both of these pieces are available for sale, if you are interested send me an email!

Meanwhile: here's how they were done.

Both are adaptations of the process that I demonstrate in my QUILTING ARTS DVD "Mixed Media Textile Art," using screenprinting with multi-color printing, over stencils (the ironed on shapes of the agave and blooms and the shapes of the hummingbirds. I cut the design stencils, iron them onto the fabric (in this case a rather strange one -- blackout curtain material fused to poly felt). Then I color  a blank screen, using water-soluble crayons, that I  then lay over the stencil and screen print with polymer medium or screen-printing medium from Golden until the colors release and transfer to the fabric. The background of the piece is mostly done with just a blank screen using the same technique with a variety of different kinds of crayons, and added to with light acrylic textile paint washes. I then screen printed the little squiggly energy marks, kind of short hand for the movement of the hummers. The textured leaves were printed with a thermofax made from a microscophy image of leaf veins, and screened over the stencil of the agave leaf shapes.

If you'd like the basics about this technique, you can still buy  the DVD from Quilting Arts at:

and see a sampler video at:



Coming up in Fiber Philadelphia 2012

Art Cloth Network will have an exhibit among the diverse, intriguing and far-flung offerings in the new year at Fiber Philadelphia 2012, a citywide two month long celebration of textiles. Thanks to member Diane Hricko, we will have two of our juried exhibits combined into one called Lines and Numbers, showing during the festival:

Lines and Numbers
White Space, Crane Arts' Old School
1417 N. Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Open Wed-Sun, 12-6pm

March - April 2012

FiberPhiladelphia is an international biennial and regional festival for innovative fiber/textile art. Exhibitions are planned for 40 locations including major institutions and independent venues. They will include work by renowned international artists and a new generation of artists breaking into the field. 

"In the past 20 years, the boundaries between High/Low art and medium specific recognition have been blurred. Unlike the other major craft media, textile artists have the freedom of transcending materials, unbound from tradition. Although many choose to continue to work with historic materials and methods, many have branched out to explore the infinite possibilities of materials and techniques. One can weave metal, clay, even light. Quilts are not necessarily bound by thread or cloth and vessels can be more than objects to contain physical matter; they can reject functionality and explore conceptual notions of spiritual and metaphysical containment.

"FiberPhiladelphia is partnering with InLiquid, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to providing opportunities and exposure for visual artists and designers."

Art Cloth Network artists whose work will be shown include:


Laura Beehler
Janet Hadingham
Sue Copeland Jones
Lisa Kerpoe
Dianne Koppisch Hricko
Judy Langille
Mary Ellen Latinio
Russ Little
Susie Monday
Barbara Schneide
Peggy Sexton
Jeanne Sisson
Priscilla J. Smith 
Katherine Sylvan
Connie Tiegel
Deborah Weir

The two combined exhibits include one that had a size requirement and another with both a size and a line placement requirment but all the art meets our groups' definition of art cloth

Art Cloth - It’s all in the process

 The Art Cloth Network is dedicated to exploring and promoting art cloth. Art Cloth is cloth transformed by adding or subtracting color, line, shape, texture, value, or fiber to create a compelling surface.

If you'd like to know more about FIber Philadelphia check their website at and for more about Art Cloth Network, see

My piece in the exhibit (detail in the photo above) pushes the definition of art cloth since it's a strange combination of painting, screen printed stencils and watercolor washes on black-out curtain fabric, fused to a poly felt background. I used the multicolor screen printing process to make the hummingbird and Century Plant images That process is one that I teach in my CLOTH PAPER SCISSOR DVD Workshop video and one we'll be playing with during the February workshop at El Cielo. I love the feeling of individual hand and spontaneity that this process gives a piece.

Here's more about the DVD:"Making use of a fun and accessible screen-printing method, Susie shows how to design a screen with water-soluble pigments, and then how to print the image using a polymer medium. Complementary fabrics are designed using stencils, water-soluble crayons, and textile paints. And next, using simple fuse-and-stitch layering and piecing, Susie demonstrates how to construct a colorful, improvisational piece of fiber art. Further design elements are considered and added, including painted details and another layer of screen printing. Finally, Susie shares strategies for turning the piece into a three-dimensional piece of artwork, by wrapping and attaching it to a wooden frame (such as a house shape). Hand stitching and embellishments can be added to personalize the piece."

Mark it up as Success/FUN/Beautiful


Last weekend's Markmaking Workshop at El Cielo took us all on a path to beautiful, deconstructed screen-printed fabrics. Each of the participants worked from a visual motif, developed in a half day of cut, paste and draw, then adapted it to different tool-making and technical processes.

And of course, we ate well, swam, set and looked, walked dogs (at least Linda and I did!) and talked and shared our lives. Thanks to Margaret, Heather, Mary and Ellen for all the creative energy flying through El Cielo. 

Here's just a few photos from the weekend. (Don't you love these panoramas, created by Linda with a new app on her iphone 4.)





Art Cloth Network Call for Members

If you're a creator of art cloth, consider joining Art Cloth Network. The group, which is limited to 30 members, actively promotes and exhibits art cloth. We will be meeting this fall in Florida (attending the first meeting is required for new members). Here's the official info about applying: 

Art Cloth Network Membership Information and Application Process

Thanks for your interest in becoming a member of the Art Cloth Network. Those of us who are members find that the opportunities for community, conversation, sharing of techniques, inspiration and resources benefit our art and creativity. We have recently increased our membership limits to 30 members in good standing, including those on formal leave. When the number falls below 30, we accept new member applications. We currently have openings for up to 6 new members.

While some of us also make art quilts or mixed media work, the group is focused on art cloth and its specific surface design techniques and approaches.  This includes making lengths of cloth, rather than small samples or fat quarters. Please read the information about art cloth on our website and look at examples, to make sure that you are interested in this field.  Only those artists who submit examples of art cloth that meet this description will be considered for membership.

We meet as a group every 9 to 10 months in different regions of the United States, usually between August and October. Since these meetings are critical to our growth and vitality, we require attendance at 2 out of 5 consecutive meetings.  Membership begins with the first meeting attended. Members bring and discuss their work at these meetings, and we share other professional concerns and opportunities. Previous meetings have been in Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Florida, California, Georgia, Arizona, and New Jersey. The 2011 meeting will be in Florida.

We also produce a new exhibit annually, with a call for entries each year. Since opportunities for showing art cloth are limited, this is an important membership benefit. Members are required to enter two of five calls for entry in order to maintain their membership status.

Only applicants who can and will attend the next meeting will be accepted into the Art Cloth Network during this membership call period. That meeting will be in or around St. Petersburg, Florida on either October 13-16 or November 10-13, 2011. Full details about the conference and this financial commitment will be mailed to those extended a membership invitation.

The current deadline for membership applications is March 15, 2011, and you can send in your application materials at any time prior to the deadline. You will be notified by April 15, 2011 whether your application has been approved. 


Send a request to in order to receive the POSTEROUS application site address.

Text on the Surface at SWSchool

Coming this spring to a school in SA:


2560 | Text on the Surface

Susie Monday

Learn to embed text messages into the surface of your art cloth or art quilts, with the form holding as much importance (and as much of the “message”) as any literary element. The words might disappear, remain legible, or become a surface texture; find ways to add letters and text with innovative materials. Some techniques to be explored include soy wax scrafitto, stitched paper cloth with word collages, direct printing on fabric with an inkjet printer, sun printing with letters and words using dye and paint, and making your own stamps and thermofaxes with words, collages and favorite quotations. The course includes handouts and other resources. A supply list will be posted on the SSA website.

Mon, Jan 31 – Feb 28 | 1:00 – 4:00P

Surface Design Studio | Navarro Campus

Tuition: $170 (Members: $155) | 5 weeks

Quilting Arts TV New Series Preview

Here's what Pokey and team say about the new season (I'm on it in the previewed show, after Jane, but it's not on the preview-- but my name is!).


In addition to covering contemporary quilt design, free-motion quilting, machine embroidery, thread painting, and fused appliqué, this season we explore soy wax and flour paste resists, screen- and gelatin-printing techniques, unique finishing techniques for small quilts, and introduce a new, fun and informative segment: Save My UFO (UnFinished Objects).

Embellishment topics include designing with zippers, 3-D fabric flowers, and incorporating grommets in patchwork totes. Surface design techniques include stenciling, resist painting, gelatin printing, stamping with soy wax, screen printing fabrics using water-soluble crayons and polymer medium, designing fabrics with thickened dyes, and creative masking and stenciling techniques with oil paint sticks.

Projects include a Winslow Market Tote, 3-D floral appliqués that can be used as quilt embellishments or as brooches, soft-sculpture fabric birds, a colorful journal cover, a 3-D ornament, quilted boots, and fabric-collaged animal portraits.

Plus, Sharon Morton discusses the purpose of guilds and how they can help with quilting, and Pokey explores quilting from the eyes of a 7-year-old girl to get her unique perspective.

There is something for every art quilter and mixed-media artist, beginning through advanced levels.

The Series 600 guest list includes: Liz Berg, Andrea Bishop, Jeanne Cook-Delpit, Jane Dunnewold, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Karen Fricke, Terry Grant, Mary Hettmansperger, Carol Ingram, Liz Kettle, Kathy Mack, Lindsay Mason, Linda McGehee, Susie Monday, Diane Nuñez, Jennifer O’Brien, Luana Rubin, Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero, Terry White, and many more.

Join us for another season of 13 inspiring episodes!

And here's the preview on YouTube:

Meanwhile, this month's Quilting Arts magazine includes a profile I wrote about French artist Sylvia Ladame.


Inspiration and techniques! Thread sketching; needle felting; hand stitching; recycled sweaters; 3-D embellishments; batik with soy wax; Dunnewold on design; circular quilts; “Inner Animal”; and more!  Continue thread sketching with Susan Brubaker Knapp, with a focus on texture. Learn Jane LaFazio’s techniques for creating colorful and unique fiber art that encompasses needle felting and hand stitching. Discover how squares from recycled and felted wool sweaters serve as the base for Morna Crites-Moore’s embellished art quilts. Explore soy wax batik alongside Melanie Testa. Use fabric-covered wireform mesh to create sculptural elements. Learn about the inspiration and techniques behind Victoria Gertenbach’s wonderfully graphic quilts. Take a sneak peek at Jane Dunnewold’s new book: Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design for Fabrics. Check out Laura Wasilowski’s method for creating small circular quilts with colorful fused appliqué and quick-wrapped edges. Gain insight from Jane Dávila on taking commissions. Enjoy more inner animal reader challenge results. Get to know art quilters Geneviève Attinger and Sylvie Ladame. Read about the smokestacks and factories featured in Elizabeth Barton’s industrial landscape quilts. And don’t miss Goddess Robbi Joy Eklow’s recent home décor adventures.