Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Out of My Comfort Zone

One of my complaints about taking some quilting classes is that I end up going to a great deal of trouble and money buying some items on the supply list that I use for about ten seconds or not at all.  Jacquard textile paints are an example:  I bought a set for a class several years ago and used exactly one brushful of one of the jars and they have sat on my shelf ever since.  So when I noticed that Lyric Kinard was offering an online class called Playing with Paint at Quilt University and the supply list included Jacquard textile paints I thought it might be time to try to get these off that shelf and do something with them.  Besides, it is definitely too cold to spend much time in my basement dyeing fabric, aside from the occasional snow dyeing, so this would be a way to create some interesting fabric even in the depths--and this winter has been particularly deep--of winter.

Now painting is not my strong suit; in fact it wasn't even in the deck of cards I played at quilting with, unless you include the Setacolor sundyeing I have done now and again.  But I knew Lyric was especially gentle with those students stepping outside their comfort zones.

So here are some examples of some of the things I have been working on the past couple of weeks:
This is a simple scrunching technique that makes a great background.  

These three are all prints done with various things around the house--poinsettia leaf, orange, and cranberries.  I will probably go back and add more color to all of them, but I particularly liked the orange--and who would have thought there was such a neat pattern inside a cranberry!

As  you can see, we are not painting pictures in this class, thank goodness.  The nearest I came to that was this doodle page I made where we were trying out a dry brush technique with some other techniques thrown in for good measure. Van Gogh has no competition here, but I learned a little about holding a brush and how it feels to apply this paint to fabric.                                                                      

Since I knew so little about painting on fabric, I have indeed greatly increased my knowledge in that area.  Some of the techniques are similar to ones I use in dyeing, and some I will try when I get out my dyes again, but I have changed my mind about using painted fabric in my quilts.  I used to think that paint stiffened the fabric so much that I wouldn't like working with it, but Lyric's class has convinced me otherwise.  When these textile paints are heat set with an iron, they become quite pliable and they can add great texture to a background or an area I want to highlight.  

I still have two more weeks to go and lots more to learn, but the playing I have done so far has only encouraged me to do more.

And if you are still with me, thanks for the company!

1 comment:

quilthexle said...

Oh yes, I can relate to that ... painting on fabric IS a lot of fun, and using those fabrics is even better. Will be fun to see what you do in class the next two weeks, and how you use your self-painted fabrics in your quilts!