Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Going to Guild - Nancy Graham

I finally made it to a guild meeting for the first time since January!  This spring sports season really put a damper on my social life, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This month's speaker was Nancy Graham, the sister of one of our members.  Nancy came to visit a few years back, and I was the lucky winner of a jar of her hand dyed fabrics.  It was great to have her back.

She shared some of her beautiful quilts, made with her own hand-dyed fabric, as well as her stamping and printing techniques.

Nancy is very green, using all kinds of things the rest of us would throw in the garbage or recycling bin to create texture and images on fabric.  "It used to be called 'cheap'," she says.  She finds patterns in all kinds of materials, from the bottom of a yogurt container to bubble wrap!

Nancy often uses styrofoam from food packaging to create her own prints.  You can use a ball point pen, but Nancy also likes fat knitting needles and other found objects to cut out the designs.  She claims you don't have to be an artist, and has even put plastic lizards onto a copy machine to get the outline of her "totem" lizard.  Although she has used many kinds of paint, she likes the Jaquard Textile Paints a lot.

Nancy sometimes uses Fun Foam, adhering it to a piece of plexiglass, to create stamps.  One of those little suction cup hangers makes a great handle!  But she's also been known to glue her foam stamps to bottle caps, credit cards, or anything else you can get a grip on. 

Of course, her designs look that much better when they are printed on a piece of her yummy hand-dyed fabric!  Nancy is a big fan of Dharma Trading Company, and swears by their recipes. 

Nancy's signature prints are her New Hampshire leaves.  She has a freezer full of them - who needs food? - that she collects and saves.

She was so generous in showing us her techniques and even letting us come up and practice. 

I got to make and take this beauty!

 Thanks so much, Nancy!  I can't wait to try this at home!


  1. Love your leaves! I think you should copy them on to other fabric. I know it is not the same as printing, but they came out sooooooo well!

  2. Wow Jen, thanks for such a nice post about my visit to your guild. I had a blast. I love the energy & enthusiasm of your group. Love your blog. -Nancy


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