Friday, January 20, 2012

Painted Purple Pansy


Here is “Purple Pansy” with the painting done. It is ready for quilting, and I am getting excited. I love how the stitching makes the piece come alive, adding more color, detail and texture. I do not usually do thread sketching (stitching on the surface before I add the backing and batting) on small painted pieces like this. There is enough detail in the painting, and I try to use just enough thread to enhance, and not distract or cover what I have done with paint.

If you look at the original photo, you can see that I adapted the background somewhat. I did a blue sky at the top, because the stuff in the photo was too distracting. In the green leafy area at the bottom, I simplified the leaf shapes. I also used a little more lively green to set off the beautiful purples, blues and red-purples in the flower.

After I painted the leaves, the green color was too strong, so I used a wash of white paint mixed with “Base Extender.” The paints I am using a lot now, and loving, are PROfab Transparent Textile Paints by ProChemical & Dye. 
If you are new to painting on fabric, I suggest purchasing an inexpensive kit that includes small bottles, such as the PROfab Textile Paint Kit (SKU SINK1). It includes one-ounce bottles of red, yellow, blue, green, white and black, and a two-ounce bottle of base extender for $10.95 plus shipping/handling.

I have been trying lots of different brands of brushes, and will try to post in the future about my findings. It is a bit tricky to find the right brushes for painting on fabric. I like ones that are very stiff, and allow me to push the paint into the weave of the fabric, rather than brushing or flowing it on. 

Teaching in The Netherlands this spring

I’ve been asked to post information for the workshops I’m teaching in The Netherlands, so here it is:

I will be there from March 22 through April 6, and have workshops scheduled for March 24, 25, 31 and April 1 at a quilt shop called Cordi-atelier in Groningen. These filled up quickly, and they added two more, but I don’t know the dates yet. On April 2 and 3, I’m teaching in Bunschoten

If you live nearby and are interested in attending a workshop, please e-mail me at, and I can put you in touch with Lya, my fabulous Dutch host and organizer, who can answer more of your questions.

The classes I am teaching are Wholecloth Painting and Threadsketching: Dragonfly. Here are the class samples: