Early in September Chloe was staying with us between her job in Portland and going to school in San Diego. I was trying to think of interesting things to do because the wildfire smoke was so bad here that we couldn't do any outdoor activities. One day it occurred to me that maybe we could try silk screening at my sister and brother-in-law's workshop. Mark started a silk screen business last year. He had offered to let me try it, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to try for my first project. Then one day I had an idea to do silk screened ornaments that could be filled in with embroidery. I drew these designs by hand and played around in Photoshop to clean them up. Chloe decided to do a t-shirt design, but she did it all in Photoshop. We emailed the designs to Mark and then went over there to see how he transfers the designs to the silk screen and does the printing. It was really cool and so nice to do it with someone who has all the equipment and knows what he's doing.
I printed these panels on natural Essex cotton/linen blend fabric which is really lovely for stitching on. We used the black ink at first, then gave some brown ink a try. You can see that in the last photo. I stitched up the samples in a few days and then started to gather supplies so that I could offer the other ones in kits. I had no idea how long it would take to get the kits all ready and our trip to San Diego interrupted the process. I've been working diligently since we got back though and I now have the kits up on my Etsy shop. They are offered at an introductory price with the only request that if you buy one to please send feedback on the kit and your stitching experience. If I reprint and create more kits I will be raising the price a modest amount.
Now for the nitty gritty on the kit. If you know my work at all you probably know how much I value creativity. I hate to tell people what to do actually. In my instructions I provide color and stitch suggestions based on my samples, but I leave it completely open to you to do what you like. Please feel free to change the colors and use only your favorite stitches. I have provided more than enough embroidery thread to do something similar to my samples, but have also included DMC color numbers if you need more thread. The kits also include the backing, batting, a chenille needle and hanging cord. To finish the kit you need a 4-5" embroidery hoop, scissors, sewing machine with walking foot, neutral thread, and a chopstick. These would be lots of fun to personalize with the colors of your favorite pets. I look forward to seeing how folks make up the designs! There are 7 kits available now at the introductory price of $25. If you are interested, but want to wait for a second printing, please send a note and tell me which ink color is your favorite (black or brown). I am leaning toward the black, but want to hear what others think.
Lastly, on the same silk screen I have two other designs that I am still working on samples for. They could be ornaments, but could also be patches or novelty designs for a quilt. I'll do a post about them when I do the samples.
I'd love to hear any feedback you have on this at all. Would you prefer to just buy the panel and figure out your own colors? Or maybe you'd rather not embroider on them and would like to add them to a quilt design. Let me know! Getting prints made is a simple task, putting kits together not so much so I would like to know if it's even worth it.