Block Print Like a Pro

Have you ever tried block printing?

The technique of using wooden blocks to print on fabric is just one of many techniques I’ve learned by watching Quilting Arts TV. While several fiber artists have demonstrated their tips and tricks for this timeless technique over the years, my go-to reference is Jamie Malden’s article “Guide to Block Printing.”

Wood blocks for printing on fabric

Her article, which is a companion to a block printing segment featured in Series 900 of Quilting Arts TV, is a great tutorial to get you started. Here is a brief excerpt from Jamie’s article to help you block print like a pro:

Block printing is a traditional form of fabric design that is still used extensively today in India. It is an easy and instantaneous printing technique that can produce rewarding results on fabric and paper. In essence, block printing is remarkably similar to rubber stamping, with many of the printing skills being transferable. Block printing is also an incredibly creative process. With just one wooden printing block you can create endless designs and variations on a theme, and become an instant fabric designer.

Reliable results with block printing
  • Apply the paint with a sponge.
  • Place a foam board underneath the printing surface.
  • Experiment, play, and relax.
  • Try out as many “what ifs” as possible.
  • Be spontaneous.
  • Experiment with the various ways a single motif can be repeated to create different patterns.
  • Keep printing and overprinting until you produce something you are happy with.
  • Heat set the textile paint if you want your print to be permanent.

Block printing is a versatile surface design technique that’s suitable for all ages and skill levels. Unleash your creativity when you take it out for a spin!

Learn about block printing and a so much more on the many seasons of Quilting Arts TV. Complete your collection of Quilting Arts TV with the series DVDs and video downloads available now. You’re sure to discover inspiration and techniques to try from the talented fiber artists and quilters featured on the show.

Happy learning!

P.S. You can also watch Quilting Arts TV QNNtv! Sign up for a free one-week trial to start exploring the many episodes of Quilting Arts TV.

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Monoprinting & Screenprinting, Quilting Arts TV, Quilting Daily Blog

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