Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Unfinished Painting on Fabric: a quilt workshop

    The Quilters Connection has exciting workshops and guests. Jennifer Beaven led "Paint, Stitch and Embellish." We started with quick exercises listing animals, smells, foods, places, plants, and music we love...wishes and stories about these. Beaven encouraged us to make a work about ourselves, the simplest of drawings. We drew images with Sharpie's Rub a Dub markers on thin cotton and painted with Lumiere fabric paints. These acrylic paints in both sampler groups or little bottles are good in that they leave the fabric soft and malleable. I took plain and irridescent. We ironed to set and then backed the pieces with batting and another piece of cotton the same size and started stitching with Pearl embroidery thread and others. We added beads and other embellishments. Mine was so tame, but I came home to do it with the 5 and 6 years old grands. None of us have finished!

(Phoenix awaiting beads)

(click to enlarge all photos)

       Hannah and Erika were still in a Valentine mood and chose some interesting fabrics for the backs of theirs, but have not had time to start their stitching. Erika showed me several places in my house that hers would look good hanging.

      First, put the fabric on newsprint and paper towels atop protective plastic.Draw your design with marker. Have water for your paints and plastic lids to mix them on. After finishing, iron to set the ink and paints; then sandwich to thin batting and a backing fabric. Safety pin together.  With embroidery needles and threads, start in the middle to tack things down. Use running stitches, back stitches, French knots, chicken scratches. Embellishment is the icing on the cake...buttons, beads, necklaces and on to create a dynamic surface. The repetition of marks and stitches will hopefully lead to visually compelling and personally meaningful piece.  We have a way to go.


  1. Of course,I've seen your quilt before. I don't think it's tame at all but quite amazing and clever. I hadn't seen the girls' quilts. They are truly outstanding! Under your guidance, and perhaps with some natural genetic inheritance, they are becoming quite the good little artists!
    I see what you mean about Erika's color sense!What fun the granddaughters have with you.

  2. I love Erika picking out places for hers to hang. It looks good right where she has it.

    Oh! That phoenix is fraught with meaning. I love it.

  3. I love the colors and the symbols. The artistic outcome is superb for all three. How lucky Hannah and Erika are -- I keep saying and meaning that. If I were your grandaughter, MY artistic nature would have been nurtured just as theirs is. Oh Happy Day !

  4. The girls obviously LOVE doing these wonderful art experiences with their talented grandmother. Look at the "gift" you are giving them. How wonderful! I do love that "heart with the hearts." Thanks for the paint info. Perhaps I'll get brave sometime with my grandkids.

  5. I agree with Sherron, you are a wonderful grandmother. The girls are adorable. I love the Phoenix and am watching its development and embellishment. Lucky you, and lucky grands!