STITCH THEN PAINT Posted on 28 Sep 17:22 , 0 comments

This last July at our retreat in Sisters Ruth Bass was our fearless leader as we played with some of her artbox supplies. The concept: Stitch It Then Paint it. If you've been following along for any length of time you will have read several different posts and had some journal peeks as I explore this process.

Some conclusions ...

Fabrics: PFD (prepare for dye) or batiks works best. It's the high thread count that helps achieve most consistent results as well as having a luminous quality creating a reflective property to your art piece. Up until this time I've been playing and exploring techniques trying to "develop my hand" with muslin as a foundation. Looking back, I say, "Jump in and go for it!" The quality of your supplies really makes a difference in the final outcome. Perceptions can be skewed with a less than quality foundation material and supplies, and in the end you'll probably spend less if you start right off with good paints, fabrics, and other color mediums.

Paints: I love the Stewart Gill paints  which are available from Artist Cellar. My favorites are Colourise: fully saturated color ... and ...  METAMICA: yummy metalics ... and what a very soft hand when the project is all finished.

... our inspiration and eye candy while Ruth explained her project process from beginning to end ...
... Ruth's artbox ... our hands itching to dig in and experiment, explore and play ...
... Ruth does a demo on the dye process while explaining the different products available for this process ...

... our play table ...

As you can see we played with other coloring agents ... fabric ink markers, colored pencils, Shiva oil paint sticks, and a couple of different options for simple fabric dye techniques.

The bottom line: the best part about our mini-workshop was the sharing amongst all the members of our group as we set aside time and gave ourselves permission to play. It was so easy to paint our already-stitched-out designs I might yet have a Baltimore Album quilt ... just paint it rather than doing all the applique ??? Hmmmm ... I know - not sure there would be much of a time-savings but it's fun to think about it the possibilities.

SISTERS 2010 SNAPSHOT: IMAGE TRANSFER Posted on 7 Sep 17:51 , 0 comments

Are you looking for an easy way to add printed images to your art quilts? This is a method I found that works for me with pretty consistent results.                              
Here's what you need:      
  • Goldens Matte Medium
  • Brayer
  • Wide paint brush (nothing fancy or expensive … sponge brush works well, too)
  • Image on an ink jet transparency (remember to reverse the image before printing if image contains any text or if direction of image subjects is an issue)
  • A quilted sandwich or a plain piece of fabric you will use in your quilt later.

Here's what you do:


Mark fabric with registration points (tape, pins, light pencil mark) to image placement

and to define area to be “painted” with the Matte Medium.


Paint the defined area with Goldens Matte Medium evenly … not too heavy/not too light.


Place printed transparency (rough side down which is where the image is printed)


Use brayer to smooth or burnish image to the fabric. I work vertically and horizontally

going for even pressure across the image and to get good coverage in the transfer of the image.


Peel up the transparency film from a corner slowly checking to be sure the image has transferred well.


Heat set using a press cloth and finish with embellishments, paint, applique.

You may have noticed my demo piece is already quilted. I've done pieces pre quilted and quilting after the fact. A couple of observations: quilting after the transfer can be a little tricky to work with stitch quality while stitching through the medium. Careful selection of thread and setting of tension is needed. I also wanted to place my images in reference to the quilting pattern. I like the "vintage look" created by the image not printing in the stitched areas due to the quilting relief.

Want to know more? I just love the Google search engine. Type in "image transfer" and be amazed with the results and all the creative inspiration right at our fingertips. Search your way through YouTube videos and don't forget to check out articles in print from Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors.

SURFACE DESIGN EXPERIMENTING Posted on 1 Apr 17:43 , 0 comments

... and speaking of books, how about this funny video about the "new technology" of the Middle Ages - the invention of the book and the need for a little on-site tech help.


This week I've been experimenting and testing my options for surface design with my art quilt called Ostinato. I tried:

  • inks by themselves (pretty hard to get the color saturationin combination with the effects I want)
  • various metallic markers (sure wish they came with a fine tip - I like to use this medium right along the stitching line as a highlight)
  • Paint Stik GOLD (I like the way I could follow the stitching line and feather the pigment out with my fingers. Also like the way I can start light and add more if I want)
  • copper/gold glitter pens (I like the way the light catches on the glitter particles for shimmering and highlights. DO NOT like the copper/orange by itself. NOTE TO SELF: use this as a last step adding color/highlights over color that is already in place.)

The effect I liked the best was done in this order:

  1. Lay down gold Paint Stik first, following the stitching line and pulling the color down across the quilted clam shape with my fingers. (still a child-like finger painter at heart)
  2. With the Tsuniko Inks ... use the fine-tip sponge brush and #73 to add color highlights along the stitching line. May play with dry brush to add hints of color in the quilted clam shape.
  3. Use the glitter pens with a LIGHT hand to add aditional highlighting.

Keep color mainly along the stitching line so it gets lighter an even to nothing as I come further out in the quilted clam shape.