Friday, July 8, 2022

Block Printed Seamwork Bo

 A bit of block printing fun for you this week!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a block printing workshop with local Vermont artist Beenanza (aka Bethany). Bethany is a delight and the workshop was really fun. 

We used the woodblocks she had designed to play around and try printing on different substrates- linen, cotton, bandanas. 

She had all sorts of themed blocks, many of which were sort of modular - designed to mix and match and work together. She had letters, geometric, botanical, fruits and veggies, office supplies... lots of options!

And we were also allowed to bring an item of our own to print on! I bought a partially sewn Seamwork Bo top made from Kona cotton. 

I cut it out in a panic about an hour before the workshop because I was running behind and it was the only white fabric in my stash! 

I stay-stitched the neckline and basted the shoulders together, which worked great for printing. I could lay it pretty flat and didn't have to worry about the ink bleeding through from back to front or vice versa.

I used some of Bethany's geometric blocks (striped triangle, circle and an asymmetrical triangle) on my Bo, printing a continuous line of design up and over one shoulder, which turned out pretty neat! 

I used navy blue, an orangey-red and bright pink, which turned out to be a fun color combo.

I love the texture of the block printing and the way each press is different from the last depending on how consistent you are with coating the block with ink or putting pressure on it (spoiler: I was not consistent). 

Regarding the Bo top: the Kona quilting cotton is probably a little bit stiff for this pattern- I prefer the drape of my linen/rayon Bo- but it works in any case.

Like my other Bo tops, this is a size 14, which is probably two sizes down from the size the body measurements chart tells me to make. It's quite a boxy, oversized pattern!

I'm pretty smitten with my block printed Bo! It's fun and summery, and I'll wear it proudly. 

Hopefully I can avoid spilling something on it, which is what I tend to do with white tops!


  1. I love a white top but I wreck them all. Usually in the first wear. This is really cute!

  2. Super cute top! Inspiring, too!

  3. Your top looks great. I like the geometries and your color choices. And your up and over the shoulder is clever and well-executed. I like to rubberstamp & one of the things I love about it is how the image can look different depending on the amount of ink and pressure used. I also like the fade that happens with multiple stampings. I got interested in rubberstamps after reading about it in the defunct Fiberarts magazine. With block printing & rubberstamping, I think surface design possibilities are endless.

  4. You may have thought you were inconsistent, but it doesn't read that way in your pictures. Great job!!

  5. I love everything about this! I did some block printing on dish towels just to try it out. It was very fun. We used this rubbery medium (I can't remember the name right now, sorry) that we carved. I ended up liking the simplest designs the best. I love the way your top turned out. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow! I just taught a stamped dish towel class to a group of ladies, so this really is intriguing! I plan to stamp on a #1 top pattern by Sonja Philips. Very similar and simple top ( only one pattern piece). I think I will end up doing more than one…thanks to seeing yours! Beautiful stamping and your colors are awesome!