Category Archives: Surface Design

Blanket Stitch Folk Art Pillow

Close up bird pillowblanket stitch techniqueIMG_4109

Back of Bird Pillow

Back of Bird Pillow

Stitched, stuffed and finished.

Stitched, stuffed and finished.

There are many sources now for 100% wool felt. When I buy it I put it through the washer and dryer to shrink it to a pebbly feel. More on that in another post, but for now I want to show you a simple pillow that’s an easy project for a gift.

A purist might stuff it with wool fleece, but I used poly fill from the fabric store for this one. I couldn’t bear to part with my fleece that has been beautifully cleaned and carded for spinning.

Soon I will do a post on spinning and things to make with your own wool!

Faux tiles

Faux tile patterns are fun to paint. Inspiration for them is everywhere. Here I’m using acrylic paint on canvas pretreated with Gesso. The background paint looks best if it’s a bit thick and lumpy, showing the brush strokes. I lightly mark off the squares with chalk and ruler, but try to keep it freehand as possible.

IMG_3910 IMG_3912 Faux tiles

Block printing

I like the pink blocks best. They don’t crumble like the blue ones and the white ones. So far I haven’t liked the Lino or wood because it’s much harder to carve and I can get as much detail with the pink as I need.
I tried tracing with carbon paper and all that but now I just keep it simple by free hand drawing with a ballpoint pen. You don’t have to follow the lines exactly and you can really see what you’ve got with no smudges.
I use a bunch of carving tools that you can buy in almost any art supply store. “NIji” brand tools have a straight wooden handle. “Speedball” has a set with a bulbous red handle. I don’t recommend one over the other, I just pick up whatever feels sharpest and right at the moment.


Painting wooden bangles steps 2 and 3

I decided the glossy Mod Podge didn’t look right. It was too shiny and felt sticky. The matte looks much better. I sealed the wood first inside and out with White Lightning white stain and sealer, but had to do it outside. Even though it’s water soluble it still has fumes and that gives me a headache fast. I used an emery board to smooth rough spots, but didn’t go too crazy with that. Some colors needed two coats, others three and then touch ups before the surface design step.



The orange and pink ones are finished with Mod Podge matte, the middle one with glossy.