Transferring an image to needlepoint canvas using block printing

Macrocallista nimbosa (Sunray Venus) found on Shell Island, NC

Macrocallista nimbosa (Sunray Venus) found on Shell Island, NC. 3 ” x 2″

New project. Gonna needlepoint a Macrocallista nimbosa, also called a Sunray Venus, found last month down at the beach. Rather nice colors and some beautiful stripes. Apparently it is tasty and easy to grow commercially, although a good reference is lacking.

Here are the completed steps so far:

Venus stamp

Venus shape

1. Come up with a pattern for the shape. After a few weeks involving lots of naps and the waste of a fair amount of scrap paper, a basic pattern for the shell evolved that will cut and glue together into a decent 3D facsimile of the shell.

Finished stamp. Yup. Looks pretty bad. But it'll do.

Finished block. Yup. Looks pretty bad. But it’ll do.

2. Make a stamp. I used a Speedball Block Printing Kit to carve my stamp. The shape was printed, cut out, then traced onto a stamp block surface with a pencil. Once the pattern was on the block blank, the non-shell part was carved out. This left a relief of the shell behind.

3. Be careful. Read the instructions that came with the block printing kit. Make sure your ink/paint stuff is compatible with fabric. CAREFULLY test out your print making on a few bits of scrap paper, which you have a lot of left over from making the pattern. Seriously, read the instructions. It’s worth it.  Needlepoint canvas is expensive.

18 pt cotton needlepoint canvas ready for detail painting.

18 pt cotton needlepoint canvas ready for detail painting.

4. CAREFULLY ink your block, test it again on paper, reink the block and then make your imprint. I wasn’t worried much about matching the pattern as I will paint the details in freehand. Color doesn’t matter either, since the ink will be colored with yarn.

5. Let everything dry overnight.

6. Start painting the details. Should be done by next week.

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2 Responses to Transferring an image to needlepoint canvas using block printing

  1. Pingback: Curious Needleworks

  2. Pingback: Sunray venus, part 3 | Curious Needleworks

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