The colors I chose were Violet and Ruby Red. For the project I have in mind, I wanted to match the color of a purple linen I bought a while back, and I had a suspicion that the violet all by itself would be too dark. It turns out I was right.
Using a fingertip on a scrap of muslin, I tested the colors of each ink separately and then mixed a small portion of both together. The third fingerprint was very close to the color I was trying to match! I also tested just a corner of the print block to see what the flower would look like. I ironed my samples to set the ink, and tested the fastness by running it under water.
The color held beautifully! So now I had to mix enough ink together to fill the ink pad. This took some trial and error, as I kept underestimating how much it would really take.
I also did a few trial runs of stamping on more scrap muslin to work out the kinks of the technique. I'm very glad I did, because I learned a few things.
I started by using cardboard under the fabric to protect my table, but also to provide some give for the print block to press into. I quickly discovered that this was not the best thing, as the cardboard I had was slightly warped and the design did not print evenly. Brian the Engineer suggested rubber, which gave me the idea of using my yoga mat. It worked wonderfully! (On the plus side, I did learn from the cardboard trial that the ink would not bleed through my fabric and stain the yoga mat.)
I also didn't like the results I got by stamping right after filling up the ink pad with fresh ink. It seemed to work better after I let it rest for a day, especially after I remembered to store it upside down.
Finally it was time to start printing for real!
It was surprisingly easy to line up the block with the previously-printed design. I have to say whoever designed it knew what they were doing!
I certainly made mistakes, but I should be able to avoid the most obvious ones when cutting out my pattern pieces.
At the top of the piece I had to use more scraps to protect my yoga mat where the print block went off the edges.
Overall I think it looks pretty good! :D