Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
Well, this painted wholecloth project is "almost" done. I have a bit of tweaking left to do. This is a project I started designing earlier this year in Adobe Illustrator. I took some vintage illustrations and traced them and added borders and spines for feathers. I then printed it out on tabloid sized paper and taped them together. I then took a piece of prepared for dying fabric I purchased online. I have since found out that Hoffman sells a brand of PFD fabric that is probably better suited for painting on. I rigged up a homemade light table using a piece of glass purchased from Menards for about $6, raised it up by setting it on top of four vegetable cans, and put an LED flashlight underneath. I then placed the fabric over the sheets of paper and taped the fabric to the paper. I then could drag that around over the top of my light table, tracing the design on the fabric with my blue water soluble pen.
Once that process was done, I loaded it and quilted it with a double batting (puff over 80/20) using So Fine thread on top and BottomLine on bottom. I was then ready for paint. I had done three smaller designs using Prismacolor and Inktense pencils and was fairly confident and fearless. I ordered some polished pigments from SewFarSoGood (Sherry Rogers-Harrison) along with some of her textile mediums. I also had on hand some Tsukineko inks and Profab textile paints.
Right off, I had an issue. Sigh. The color I had chosen for the background behind the flowers was to be a light brown. As you can see from the pictures below, that is definitely not a light brown. I made the mistake of assuming I could lighten the color of the paint by adding more textile medium. You can do this, but it isn't a good idea to use it in a large area, as the color went on unevenly and dried pretty blotchy and ugly. So, I went darker - making the ratio of medium to pigments about 2 or 3 to 1. I then found online that you could purchase individual colors of the same polished pigments from ColourArte (previously Luminarte). I ordered several different colors, instead of trying to lighten or mix the colors to the right shade. The pinks and greens used a combination of the pigments and Inktense pencils. The borders I decided to go with a lighter color of brown and a gold metallic. I settled on Tsukineko gold emperior ink and chose a lighter shade of brown from the pigments. Here's a tip - if your textile mediums all come in the same shape and color of bottle, differentiate between them by painting them so you don't mistakenly grab the silver when you meant to grab the gold or the matte. Sigh. Well, the lighter brown turned out yucky. The color went on splotchy - I'm not sure why and the luminescence was also splotchy. I don't know for sure what happened (see above note about mixing up textile mediums) but I was totally bummed. I decided to use the ProFab paints (a mixture of two colors) and painted directly over it. I could still tell where the original paint was, but it was not too noticeable I thought.
I painted the binding and the piping and when I finished binding it, I decided that the bottom right border bugged me enough that I had to do something. So, I used some hot water and a round scrub brush (included in the Loewe Cornell set of fabric brushes) and added water and scrubbed the fabric until the brush picked up paint and then removed the paint from the brush and did it again. After about an hour of this, I'm glad I did, because the shininess was removed. I need to touch up the color in that area and I think I might be able to consider this finally finished.
I found I really like the pigments and how they cover the fabric (it doesn't sit on top but kind of soaks into the fabric), but did not like how unreliable they were in covering a large area consistently. It could have been and probably was due to the type of fabric I used, so I'll see if I still have that problem when I try another painting project. I did discover I needed to stir the paint frequently while painting in order to avoid some of those problems. I also loved using the Inktense pencils - especially for adding depth and detail. Make sure you get some good brushes. I purchased the Loewe Cornell set for fabric painting, but also purchased some individual fabric brushes (I think it was from Dharma) to get some really tiny ones to get into those corner details.
I am seriously behind on customer quilts, so I need to start cranking them out fast.