Fabric painting was something I knew nothing about before taking Elizabeth Barton‘s online class Dyeing to Design at the Academy of Quilting.  Fabric painting is the process of combining fabric dye with a thickener so it can be used to paint fabric, just as one would paint on a canvas.  Think about that.  The possibilities are endless!!  As we had been silk screening the week before, I used a couple of my silk screened fabrics and painted on them and then decided to branch out and paint on a blank white piece of cloth.  Here are some of my doodles.

As you can see I had fun!  I also painted the fabric in the photograph below, but I didn’t have a clear idea of what to do with any of it.  While painting the fabric in this photo below I was thinking about how we are all moving along in our lives, sometimes following, at other times leading, sometimes crossing paths with others, but can often feel we are alone even though we live in a world populated by so many.  Still, if we can just remember to reach out to others, we find our experiences are shared by many.  Should I have just written all that in the first person singular?  But then I might have felt that alone feeling again… Anyway, I sat with these various fabrics and did nothing for several days.

a-rippleThen, having given up on the idea that I was going to be miraculously hit with a blast of inspiration, I cut up the fabric (just a little, nothing radical) and sewed it back together (photo below.)  And then I sent it off to my class for feedback, that’s the whole reaching out thing that I mentioned above…  Elizabeth is an excellent teacher and can be depended upon to make terrific suggestions. 5abstractWhich led to this…5abstract1And this…5abstract2And this…5abstract4

And finally, finally, finally… this…5abstract6Which became this…  traveling along our various paths…5togetherAnd finally, this…  reaching out to others and no longer feeling so alone…lesson5front-copyHere are a few close ups of the machine and hand stitching…


And this is the back.lesson5back-copy

Traveling Together measures 21.75″ x 21.75″  All the fabric was hand painted and hand dyed. Then quilted using a cotton batting and kona cotton back.  I did the hand stitching using a perle cotton thread as well as a wool thread. The binding was hand dyed and sewn on, as was the label.

I still have not figured out what to do with my various silk screens, but I just finished painting over a few of them and plan to over dye a couple of others, so will see what the results are after that.  In the meantime I painted a few more half yard pieces of fabric and am eager to see how they turn out.

Elizabeth’s Dyeing to Design class is over, but she’ll be teaching it again in the spring, I believe.  I cannot recommend it more highly.