Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Painting "Friso"

This is “Friso,” painted on fabric and ready for stitching at Friday’s Artists’ Reception for the Animal House exhibition at Cabarrus Arts Council Galleries. (See my previous post for details.) It felt so good to work and be creative this afternoon after so many days away from it. I am quite pleased with how he is looking, and hope Lya and Wil will think it is a good resemblance, too. He is going to get a lot more textural with the thread sketching. Right now, his whiskers are just penciled in.

Here is the original photo by Lya or Wil (they are both great photographers):

And here are a few shots to show how I worked:

For readers who are new to my work: I paint on PDF (prepared for dyeing) cotton fabric, using acryilic textile paints from ProChemical & Dye. After I’m done, I add interfacing to the back (to provide stability while I stitch; my favorite is Pellon 910) and then heavily free-motion thread sketch the piece using my sewing machine, to add texture and detail. Then I add batting and free-motion quilt.

Perhaps my cat, Wicked!, thought I was painting her, because she jumped up to take a closer look! Luckily, the paint was already dry. Wicked! has half a mustache and half a goatee, but they could be cousins, at least.


  1. Looks just like your kitty! Wow...great job!

  2. amazing. i've taken your surface design class, but must put your painting/thread sketching class on my to-do list!

  3. Love how the paint looks on the fabric, really soft and smooth, the thread painting will be beautiful on this piece.


  4. Susan, thanks for the detail pictures and description of your methods. I'll look forward to seeing Frisco develop.
    Martha Ginn

  5. I've been lurking and reading. I know how much you love your animals....what a lovely pix. I'm sure it will be amazing when it is finished.


  6. WOW Susan, you did an amazing job!
    He's painted just perfect! Even the everlasting dirty spots on the tip of his nose are there.

    We are pleased and honoured you have been our guest here in the Netherlands, last March/April.

    We can't wait to see the final result of Friso.

    Wil and Lya

  7. It looks just beautiful already Susan. Love it already and can't wait to see it finished!

  8. I'm pretty new here and thought I'd say hi. Your work is amazing! I love the idea of painting the base and then threadpainting for more texture. You mentioned you use acrylic paints... do you use Setacolor? I'd be curious to know which ones you like. I recently tried fabric painting and love it. Especially the idea that it's like painting and sewing combined!

  9. Thanks, Christie. I have tried lots of brands of paints, and the ones I am using now – and loving – are by ProChemical & Dye. They are the ProFab Transparent paints.

    If you are interested in learning more about my technique, you might consider purchasing my latest DVD, which covers the basics of painting and stitching on fabric.It is called "Dynamic Quilt Design: Paint Meets Stitch," and you can purchase it on my website here:


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