We had a few days of sunshine and warmer weather last week, just enough for my spring fever to kick into gear. Since it will be months before I can poke around in the garden, I’ll have to be content to poke around my studio and play with flowers indoors.
When it comes to flowers, I don’t get too far without thinking about the Primrose stencils that are tucked into the back of my Design Magic book. I created the Primrose design for a segment on Quilting Arts TV. I stenciled the images on fabric with my paintstiks and turned it into a tote. Personally, I think it was the very best segment I did for the show, and I was thrilled with the process I used to create the stencils.
When I finished taping the segment, I was so excited about that I decided I had to turn the process into a book. Less that a year later, Design Magic was back from the printer and flying out the door. What an adventure!
I have one more little story about this set of stencils. My initial name for the design was Squiggle. Very descriptive, but not particularly elegant for a product name… So I picked up my book on perennials and looked for the simplest flowers in the book. The primrose was on my short list. Given that I live on Primrose Road, it was an easy choice!
Now let’s take a look at what YOU can do with the Primrose Stencils.
Design Magic: Primrose Projects
Design Magic is a really great way to make your own designs, turn them into freezer paper stencils, and add the designs to fabric by stenciling with paintstiks.
Freezer paper stencils? Yes, freezer paper stencils. While they don’t last forever, freezer paper stencils are much more durable than you think — I really pushed one set and used it more than 50 times before it was truly worn out.
As a matter of fact, I used freezer paper stencils to make most of the samples in the book, including the queen-size Woodland Flowers Quilt. Here’s a photo of the quilt. The instructions are included in the project section of the book.
The construction of this quilt is really simple (other than the fact that it’s BIG). It’s all made from squares and 4-patches. Some of the squares are painted with the primrose images, but most are not. When you put it all together, the primrose images all come together.
If you are new to Design Magic, this is NOT the first project to tackle. Try one of the smaller projects first and make sure you want to do that much painting.
I created this quilt and included it in the book because I really wanted to see how well I could integrate the Design Magic concept into a traditional quilt.
I love the quilt and enjoy it every day, but I’ll be the first to admit that it was a really big project. Here’s a detail shot from the border.
Moving Beyond Freezer Paper
Now as much as I love freezer paper stencils, there is an outer limit to how long they last, and that means you have to make multiple sets of stencils for a very large project. I like making stencils (it’s really quite easy), but there’s a limit to how many times I’m willing to do the same thing. I decided there had to be a better way.
It took a few months and a series of samples from my very patient and understanding stencil company, but I figured out a way to make pre-cut mylar stencils from Design Magic designs. And I liked them so well that I decided to include one set in the Design Magic book.
So, you get the best of both worlds. If you like the idea of designing your own fabric, the Design Magic book gives you a neat method for making your own designs, creating stencils, and transferring your designs to fabric.
If you just want to paint, you get a set of pre-cut mylar stencils that can be used to make any of the projects in the book — as well as any that you can dream up — without the work of making stencils.
Here’s a photo of the Primrose Stencils and the images stenciled on Gradations fabric by Benartex.
As you can see, the Primrose stencils form a stylized floral motif when they are painted in a repeating pattern. They can be painted in a single color or multiple colors. I really like painting on the Benartex Gradations fabric with a single paintstik. I used a blue/turquoise variation of this fabric to make the tote (see the photo at the top of the newsletter.)
If the fabric is not changing color, I like to change the color as I am painting. Here’s a piece in progress painted with a lot of my favorite colors.
This bright and cheerful fabric will make a wonderful wall quilt or pillow cover for a room that needs a splash of color!
Show Off Your Primrose Projects
I know that a lot of you already have a copy of my Design Magic book. What have you done with your Primrose stencils? The easiest way to share your projects is to post them on our Facebook page. See you there!
Get A Free DesignPack With Your Book
If you don’t yet have a copy of Design Magic, there has never been a better time to buy one. For a limited time, we’ll send you a free DesignPack when you purchase a copy of the book through our online store. No coupons, no codes. Just place your order and the DesignPack will come with your book.
To take advantage of this special offer, follow this link to our Online Store. (If you no longer see the item titled Design Magic + FREE DesignPack, you’ll know the offer has expired.)