Karen Lewis of Blueberry Park {Podcast Episode #115}

The first in my three part series on surface design is Karen Lewis. Living in Leeds, England, Karen Lewis is a quilter, screen printer, teacher, fabric designer for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, wife and mother. During our conversation, we talk about how she designs her screen prints, the biggest unfounded fear about screen printing, the importance of handmade products and how following her passion led to her fabric lines. I hope you enjoy the episode. 

Notes from the Show:

Skinny laMinx

Lu Summers


Today’s episode is sponsored by Dharma Trading Company. Dharma has all of your fabric printing, painting and dyeing bases covered. Serving the fiber artist community since 1969 with great prices and the best customer support in the industry, Dharma Trading is your source for textile art supplies. You can find them online at dharmatrading.com or call toll free at 800-542-5227. Podcast Listeners can save 10% off their order with promo code Dharma10. The coupon expires September 1, 2017.

How to Listen:

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Would you like a chance to win a fat quarter of Karen’s fabric line!?! Robert Kaufman Fabrics has generously offered this gorgeous fat quarter bundle to one lucky podcast listener.

For a chance to win, you must live in the United States (sorry, international fans!) and leave a comment here about your experiences with screen printing. Have you ever tried it? Would you like to try it? I’d love to hear more! The giveaway will end Monday, June 226th at 8am pacific time.


Comments 64

  1. I bought all of the supplies to screen print before my wedding. The invitations were going to be screenprinted on vintage handkerchiefs, but I ran out of time to learn and get them all printed. ☹️ Still want to learn!

  2. Hi I helped screenprint T-shirts of my favorite ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev years ago and then I had a friend who’d screen print for me so I never did again but I loved it LOL

  3. I don’t think I’ve tried screen printing, or any kind of fabric printing since carving designs into potatoes when I was 6 or 7yo 😉 I’d love to take some time out and try it now!

  4. I tried screen printing at a workshop two years ago and loved it. I’ve never tried it at home because it’s quite messy and requires a lot of material and space

  5. I’ve never tried screen printing, but I would love to try it one day. Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful fabric!

  6. I have not tried screen printing, but Love Karen’s fabric, just finished a quilt that I used a charm pack of her fabric in. Thanks for the giveaway!
    cork at pa.rr.com

  7. I bought a beginner kit about 6 years ago and have yet to open it! :-O But I do a lot of monoprinting, dyeing, bleach discharge and stamp carving, and will get around to screen printing eventually. I just like having ALL the supplies for ALL the ideas handy in case I get the urge at 2 a.m. or something… 🙂 LOVE your podcast!

  8. Years ago in art school I screen printed on paper for a printmaking credit. I loved it! The process of “making each screen” was meticulously fun and I remember using this huge crazy light to set the “stuff” on the screen. My parents and sister both framed prints that I gave them and I don’t even know if I have any still myself! I’d love to screen print again someday.

  9. I have just found your site and there are so many interesting things! And a chance to win fabric too? Can’t get much better.

  10. Wow! What a great give away. You show is my Friday afternoon, I’m at work, wish I was sewing, refreshment! I love Karen Lewis’ fabrics and as far as screen printing is concerned I’ve done it a couple of times way, way, way back when (I won’t say how far back 🙂 ). Thank you for the chance to win! Have a great weekend!

  11. It’s something I think I would like to try, but with so many different crafty things competing for time I don’t know when I’ll find the brain energy to give it a chance.

  12. I screenprinted in high school and LOVED it, but i haven’t screenprinted fabric … yet 😉 Karen’s work is so appealing and versatile; i use bits and pieces in many projects!

  13. I took a printmaking class in college where we did some screen printing. I would love to do it again sometime. Karen Lewis’ fabrics are a gorgeous example of the possibilities of screen printed textiles!

  14. My first and only screen printing was in 6th grade. I had a 9 week block of “shop class.” Hysterically, they actually called it “Technology Education.” Just shows how old I am that Technology was mostly wood shop class back in the day. One week we visited the high school shop class and got to pull the ink across the screen. The smell was unexpected and overpowering, but I LOVED how goopy, finger paint like it was, and how the design seemed to magically appear on the fabric below. My 12 year old mind was blown. Looking back, It felt like the perfect combination of messy and creativity. I’m certain if I’d been unsupervised for long that gloopy mess would have been rubbed through my fingers for pure enjoyment!

  15. At first I thought, ‘shoot! I’ve never screen printed’ but then It dawned on me that I had screen printed my own chocolate transfer sheets way back when. You temper cocoa butter and add oil based food coloring and then you screen print using that mixture on acetate. After taking Jen Hewett’s block printing class I’ve wanted to take a screen printing class to produce table linens and bags inspired by Portugal’s art and architecture.

  16. I have not tried screen printing. But after listening to the podcast and realizing that there is a way I can try it without having to buy a bunch of equipment, I’m now totally more curious about giving it a go. Thanks Sandi and Karen!

  17. I haven’t done it before, but I’m really hoping to get a spot in one of Karen’s classes at Quiltcon. Thank you!

  18. I got to try screen printing in a class with Judy Coates Perez at CraftNapa this past January and really enjoyed the process. I would love to do more. Such a beautiful effect on bold colored fabrics, love the Karin Lewis line.

  19. Me? Screen printing? Wow that takes me back over 30 years to junior high school! We had a week of Mini Classes (where I learned to juggle) including a screen printing class. I came away with my own personally designed stenciled screen printed pillow case! I remember how exciting it felt, and a little overwhelming, at the vast opportunities for creativity that’s opened up in my mind. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!

  20. I remember screen printing as a kid in summer rec program. I was so proud of my blue, pink, and purple solid square blob of printing on my t-shirt. I wore that thing everywhere until Mom finally confiscated the poor thing years later for the rag bag. I’ve thought about trying it again (with a pattern this time -maybe for quilt labels instead of inkjet printing on fabric then sewing it on) but haven’t had the ambition. Yet.

  21. We are trying to hand screen print t shirts for our kids and cousins this summer and I’m super excited to try it out. It’s intimidating but I’m hoping the end result will be worth it. Thanks for this awesome podcast and the chance to win!

  22. I’ve always been a little intimidated by screen printing. But the idea of just making a small screen to try It out sounds fun. Great interview as always!

  23. I tried screen printing on a friend’s t-shirt setup many moons ago, and would love to try it again. I’ve already taken Karen’s Lino class, and would love to try this next.

  24. I havent screen printed yet but I did arch a Creativebug class on the topic and my favorite art in my house is a screen print. #iwantalltheart

  25. one of my favorite high school electives was a photo/graphics class. for the graphics portion we designed and then screen printed tshirts and notepads. super fun!! i’d love to try it again some day!

    1. Post


      Congratulations! You’ll have more Blueberry Park prints to sew with. Send me an email sandi @ craftyplanner . com with your address and we’ll get it mailed to you. 🙂

  26. We have a tie dye company and used to do screen printing as well. It is a definite art and you have to be strong!! I admire people who do it well!!

  27. I have not done any screen printing but it intrigues me. I’ve thoroughly been enjoying the cool Blueberry Park and have used it into projects so far.

  28. I was inspired by Karen to try it so I bought her book and had a go at it. I loved it! I was then fortunate enough to get to take one of her Lino printing classes at Quiltcon this year. I love Karen, her work, and her inspiration!

  29. I’ve wanted to learn to screenprinting for so long. The thought of cleaning screens has kept me away though ( I hate cleaning after block printing )

  30. I have not tried screen printing; maybe someday. But as long as talented designers like Karen create yummy fabric like Blueberry Park…well I may not need to learn!

  31. I took a screen printing class in college (2013) and really loved it I haven’t done any since I graduated – it’s hard to get motivated on my own. I’d love to know what type of ink/paint Karen uses! And I’m inspired to give it a go. Thanks for the giveaway!

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