Friday, October 13, 2017


Next Project! Quilt for Lilydale Show. Theme..Butterflies... First paint the background. If you haven't painted fabric before, give it a shot. I am going for a sunrise/sunset look for this piece. This is my second attempt at this quilt. First one didn't go to is now rolled up, and I will see if anything can be salvaged or it will quietly disappear .
So for the background, I started with some white homespun/broadcloth pre washed with Morning Fresh Original dish-washing detergent. I did a couple of rough folds and pressed with the iron and then marked radial lines using a Crayola washable crayon.. As you can see in a couple of the pictures, I considered doing some leaves at this point, and then thought better of it, just in case the crayon didn't actually all come out. A layer of cotton batting was added to the back and I stitched, following the lines, not always going out to the edges. I used a gold metallic thread for the quilting lines. I figured any paint was less likely to stick to the would need to use 100% cotton thread if you wanted it to take up the paint......this may or may not be the case depending on the paint used, but I didn't want to use a white blend and find I am stuck with white lines. Besides, gold is a neutral colour in my world.
I stuck the whole thing in the machine and did a hot wash and used a small squirt of Morning Fresh dishwashing detergent. (You may or may not have noticed that a lot of the washing powders have fabric conditioner added to them. Not sure if this hinders the paint sticking or not, so use the dishwashing detergent instead). I then threw it in the dryer and yahoo, the crayon was gone.
I have a large table to throw paint about on in my lair but you can also buy yourself some sheets of melamine from Bunnings or your local hardware store and use these to paint on. Bunnings has the big sheets for around the $10 mark. The great thing with the melamine is that you do not end up with marks on your piece if you dont want them - core board tends to leave ridges ..... it is all trial and error.
My colour scheme was yellow, orange and pink. I started in the center ( well off center) with the yellow. then added a bit of orange and smooshed that about.....I got a bit carried away as I always do and missed photographing a couple of colours, but it isnt rocket science and you can see from the pictures, there is not a lot of skill in painting like this. It is sheer fun. How good would this look in blues - like you are looking at the surface of the water from the bottom of a pond....well maybe a clean swimming pool.

Now I was quite happy with the colours, but I do love the mottled effect salt brings to the table. Rock salt is great for this and you can buy the cheap home brand for do not need to buy pink Himalayan rock salt!!! Give the piece a bit of a spritz with water and then throw those salty little pebbles about with gay abandon. Now leave it alone. If it is a fine sunny day and it is on a board, put it outside and let it dry.

 When the piece is dry, you need to get the salt off. You also need to heat set it before washing.....what to do, what to do. Here is what not to do.....dont shake the salt off on the grass, it will kill it.....dont shake it off where the dog might lick it up. I shook a fair amount off on a patch of weeds, the rest I ended up stick it in the dryer. Add a damp towel to keep the dryer going. I did that a couple of times. Then back to the artists lair to hit it with the iron. It will still be crunchy, but take your time and get as much heat into it as you can without creating fire. Now stick it in the washing machine again. Again use the Morning Fresh and a cold wash - if you want to add any more paint, you do not want the fabric conditioner on the piece.

Hold your breathe - I spent a good part of the next 15 minutes watching the foam in the front loader to see if it was all going to hell in a hand basket......back in the dryer it goes and whilst just damp, take it out and press it all nicely.
The basic tools of painting fabric -- a suitable surface to paint on, fabric, paint, water, brushes or sponges, fabric medium and if you dont like paint on your clothes and you - gloves and an apron.
Depending on how you are going to use the fabric, you can use good quality acrylic paints without medium if the piece isnt going to be washed. The fabric once painted can be a little stiffer than it was, but often a good pressing will fix this. I used a mixture of textile paints, and straight acrylics and because I got enough heat into it, there was very little fading once washed. I also found the fabric to be quite soft.
So, there you go, give it a try and open up a whole new world!

Sue xxx

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Taken a few weeks, but finally finished my Russian Skyline Quilt.     This is a Raylene Richardson quilt class.   If you get a chance, get her to your group.   She is based in Swan Hill and is absolutely lovely and very clever.   Nothing was too much trouble and she was very generous with her time, paint and knowledge.   

Sue xxx

Thursday, June 15, 2017


As the workshop co ordinator for Mt Evelyn Quilters, I still have a few places available for Raylene's class - Russian Skyline.   We will be working on a simplified version of the above quilt.    Raylene is a brilliant Australian quilter from Swan Hill,  Victoria.  

Two day workshop 29 and 30 July 2017 - Mt Evelyn - Melbourne - Australia!  

If you are at all interested in attending, cost is $170 - paint and brushes supplied.   Contact me directly on 0400 214 031 and I will forward you the details.    Should be a lovely weekend of painting, stitching and quilting.    


 Sue xxx