project: make hexagon stamps
Every so often I get the itch to carve a stamp or two. Thinking about hexagons has gotten me back in that mood again, because I saw in my mind a simple and versatile stamp opportunity! With a basic shape like this, you could stamp an entire quilt design! I made my hexagon stamps with "stitching" and not much else, but there's nothing to stop you from creating little "fabric" designs on yours.
You'll easily find 1000 stamp carving tutorials online, and most will teach you everything you need to know to make some really great stamps. But in case you feel like hanging around here, I'll share my super easy process!
First you need some carving material. I'm saving my Moo Carve to make a block out of the entire piece (I have no idea what it will be yet) and the pink you see is Speedy Carve, which is lovely to work with, but it's thin and is best mounted. The eraser is from Dollar Tree, where you'll get three for $1. These are larger than Magic Rub erasers, but just as nice to work with.
You'll also need a sharp knife and a stamp carving tool. For making stitches, the tiniest tip is best.
Trace a hexagon onto the eraser, then draw some stitches around the edge. I made mine as large as would fit on the eraser.
Use the knife to cut away the edges. With a soft eraser like this, you should be able to slice right down through the sides with ease.
Gently carve the "stitches". You'll find that often one end of a stitch is pointed (where you started the stitch) and one end is blunt (where you ended the stitch). You can fix this by either 1) start at each end, going only half way to the middle, or 2) start some stitches from one side and some from the other, mixing the direction to make it less obvious.
Grab a stamp pad and try out your stamp. If anything doesn't look quite right, carve...fix...stamp again. And remember that this is an eraser, so avoid rubbing the stamp on your paper or it will start to wear down.
Side note: is that not the yellowest green stamp pad you've ever seen? I'm having trouble seeing any green in that...
Now you can stamp a whole collection of hexies! You could even use these as a base, and then draw on extra details like stripes, polka dots, flowers, etc.! Or if you're feeling ambitious, carve extra designs right into the stamps.
Draw a design as you did with the stitches. Use the sharp knife to outline the shape you want to cut away.
Carefully cut away the inside of the shape using the carving tool.
And stamp! This one is smaller than the other, so it won't really work in building a stamped quilt design with the larger stamp (hexagons need to match in size), but I like it's cute littleness. Yes, littleness.
See? Even if you don't sew you can stamp a quilt!