assignment 2 is done!

I knew it had been a while since I last blogged but I was a bit surprised to see just how long. I have a good reason, though – I’ve been immersed in finishing my second assignment for OCA Textiles 1, finally put in the post (just) on time on Monday. It takes ages to get everything labelled and organised for sending to my tutor – I must try to do more of that as I go along. These are the two larger printing/painting samples I finished at the weekend. The top one is a repeating pattern that could go off the edges of the fabric – scrunch dyed cotton fabric, block printed with fabric paints, then stencilled with masking tape stencils in two layers, the first layer applied with a natural sponge, and the second layer applied with a sponge roller. When I’d done that, I thought the purple stripes were too strong against the background fabric, which was quite pale in places, so I painted the whole thing with thin turquoise paint and then rinsed it before setting.

The bottom one is a single unit inspired by log cabin patchwork. It’s all block printed, the ‘log cabin’ with funky foam blocks with holes punched into them, and the round shapes with carved erasers. The fabric is silk, and I used fabric paints as I wanted that brushy texture in the colour.

printed fabric

printed fabric

The next section of the OCA course is fabric manipulation and making an actual object like a bag or a waistcoat, which sounds great, but I must also finish the appliqué piece and get on with the final assessment for City & Guilds. I think if I really pull out the stops I might be able to finish it before my registration runs out in mid-December.


The project I’m working on now in my OCA Textiles 1 course is all about printing and fabric painting techniques. I’ve been carving print blocks from erasers and corks, cutting them from compressed sponge, and impressing them into thermoplastic foam. The paint is acrylic mixed with textile medium.

block prints

I’ve also been experimenting with stencils/masks and silk painting. Just playing and learning. I wish I could spend a bit longer on this but I’ve already extended my deadline once! By next weekend I need to have spent 10 hours designing and printing a short length of fabric for an assignment. It’s a little paradoxical – I’m doing the course to motivate myself, and I know if I weren’t doing it I probably wouldn’t have spent any time this weekend working with fabric and paint. Yet I’m getting frustrated because the time pressure is stopping me from really exploring the techniques.

This was Markal paintsticks brushed over the edges of a heart shaped mask.

masked shapes with Markal

For this sample I sponged colour over hole reinforcement stickers stuck to the fabric, left it to dry, then peeled them off – I’m not sure if I like this effect but I do like the resulting coloured stickers!

sponging over stickers