As promised here is a simple tutorial to have a go at a project such as this one I made for my friends 40th. All it took was a bit of bravado, a have a go attitude, free thoughts and a bit of fun. All made in a couple of hours with a fantastic outcome I thought. Play as much as you like, if you don't like your drawing just wash it out and start again. Of course you could practise on paper but you then just have to do it again on fabric so just go in boots and all I think.
So what you need is:
some white or light background fabric
a blue water erasable pen - a new one which has not dried up.
some fusible thin batting or pellon
spray basting spray
a sewing machine with darning or bouncy foot
some black embroidery sewing thread
a contrasting embroidery sewing thread
Inktense pencils and good quality pencil sharpener.
Folk Art textile medium and small round brush
an artist canvas if you wish to mount your picture
Lets get started
Okay first cut yourself a piece of white or background fabric the size you wish to have your picture finished plus enough to wrap around the edges of the canvas if you are using one.
Now is the time to be creative and free.... take your blue pen and just draw. Keep in mind to use long flowing connected lines as you are going to stitch all of this and dont want too many, if any stops and starts... you can backtrack over stitching lines to get to the next area but the less the best... I used a cup to get my circle for the centre of the flower. The rest was all done freehand.. If you are a perfectionist then this is probably not for you. The idea is to be creative and just let the drawing flow.
The first one I did was with one central flower. Then I tried 3 flowers. Now I have done many with hearts, butterflies, other flowers etc. Whatever you can draw easily and without stress. If you cannot draw, then I am sorry you shall have to buy a pattern that someone else has drawn for you!
Okay next step is to layer your drawing. I used a fusible pellon (very lightweight fusible batting) and fused it to my backing fabric and then spray basted the top (drawing) to the other side. Of course you could spray baste both sides but I didn't want tacking stitches or pins in my way when free machine quilting.
Don't however iron on the drawn side as you may set your blue colour in.
Quilting - with your feed dogs down and your bouncy or darning foot on now we get to quilting. Put some lilting music on loud and your quilting gloves (I cannot quilt without my Machingers (Australian seller) gloves to grip the fabric) and away you go. I have used a black polyester embroidery thread top and bottom to quilt on all of the drawn lines. Work out an order that will enable you to quilt the whole drawing at once without having to stop and start (well as few stops as possible). Just start with a few little or backtack stitches and away you go. It doesn't matter if you go off the lines slightly, just try to keep a smooth flowing stitch line.
Once all your lines are stitched it is now time to decide on a background filler stitch.
I used a hot pink embroidery thread and quilted spiral swirls on this one
and freehanded some nice friendship quotes on this one.
There are many background filler ideas on the web. Just Google, background quilting designs or make up your own. Again,. this is supposed to be free and fun.. don't stress too much if its not perfect, that's not the idea nor the appearance we want.
If you are going to mount your drawing onto a canvas mark the outside edge of the canvas using the blue pen on your top. Background quilt the entire marked square. If you are going to make it into a quilt you will still need to know the outside edges so do the same. Don't trim it back at this stage though.
once quilting is finished you can rinse thoroughly all of the blue pen from your quilt.
Next step is the colouring. Inktense are a special range of pencils made by Derwent. You can get them online or at Art stores. They come in 12, 24 or 72 colours and give a very intense colour when wet.
So use the edges of your quilt to test you colours and make decisions. When finalised you can start colouring.
Using a small round brush wet each area with textile medium taking care not to go outside the quilting lines but go right to the edges of each shape. You will soon get the idea of how much medium to apply but it will stain so don't get it where you don't want it. Then take the pencil and colour over the wet section. If doing just one flat colour then obviously use just one pencil until the shape is evenly covered. If you wish to use two colours and blend then put each colour on separately and then use a wet (with medium) brush to blend the two colours nicely. Just play, you will soon work out how they work. Continue colouring until all you black quilted areas are full of colour (unless of course you decide to do it differently which is totally fine, this is a free world).
If you are using a canvas centre your design on the canvas and pull the edges to the back and secure with a staple gun. Trim them back neatly on the back and add your label or message.
If making into a quilt top, trim the edges and add your borders or whatever now.
Hope you had fun and I have inspired some new creative endeavours or directions. If you make anything like this could you post a pic on your blog and link back to this tutorial so I can have a peek too..
many thanks, and happy colouring...Helen