Printing on Fabric makes beautiful gifts

Posted by on 25 October 2014 | 3 Comments

My Printing on Fabric class begins this weekend so I thought I'd share with you one of the techniques I use printed fabric for - I have a sample exercise for you to try in class too, with step by step instructions for thread painting or you can use your own photo and I'll guide you.

One of my favorite techniques in quilting is thread painting which is done with free-motion stitching of course, and ideal for enhancing photos printed on fabric. 

For the following quilt, I knew what I wanted so had to acquire a few items first. I purchased this small vase...

glass vase

First I needed a vase

and some silk roses - yellow ones. Perfect!

yellow roses

... and yellow roses for the vase

My first thought for a display was a single rose in the vase with a bud, but unfortunately there were no buds (well small enough for my thought) in my flowers so I put that idea aside as a backup plan as I'm sure I could have manipulated one of the budding roses down to an appropriate size - where there is a will, there's a way as the saying would go. Taking in my thoughts, I knew two flowers in a group didn't look balanced so I was thinking the minimum I would use is three. I felt restricted to three because of the size of the vase. So three it ended up to be.

I choose three of different sizes from the bunch, a full bloom rose, a smaller opened rose and a budding rose.

My next thought was to arrange a setting - something in the background - colored fabric perhaps. First I tried a dark fabric.

roses with dark background

A setting with dark background

On second thoughts, let's go light.

roses with dark background

A change to light

Yes, much better. The vase and leaves are not lost now as they were with the dark background.

I made sure I had the right settings in my camera - printing requires higher resolution than internet images - then I snapped a few photos and chose the best.

Once I had the right photo, it was time to print the photo onto fabric - actually, I have even written an e-book with lots of information about printing on fabric. (This goes into depth explaining about the right sort of photo required for printing, how to prepare your fabric, printing, many tips and tricks to use successfully, and gives you a fun project to try too.) or for even more help, I have my online class Printing on Fabric with a number of exercises, one like this project and others to share with you.

With my printed fabric, it was time to select the thread colors. This is the fun part. I pulled several yellow threads ranging from very light to dark gold, then a couple of greens for the leaves, grey-greens for the vase and lastly two more threads for the background. I picked mostly rayon threads for the roses so I could achieve a certain shine to them as if the light was reflecting off them.

machine embroider threads

My selections of machine embroidery threads

So with my threads selected, I layered the quilt top with batting and backing and then it was time to begin stitching. I started with the roses as I always stitch the backgrounds last - better that way. I used five threads in total for the roses, starting with the darkest thread first and working through to the lightest which added the highlights.

stitching a rose

Stitching using 5 shades of yellow

I stitched the leaves next. I kept the vase simple, not too much stitching here. I didn't want to lose the transparency effect of the glass.

stitching the vase

Less stitching on the vase

And lastly the background. The wooden table was enhanced by a few wood knots and the light top was stippled quite fine.

stitching the background of the quilt

Stitching wood knots and stippling

After all the stitching was completed I added borders to finish off. I chose a gold/yellow for a 1/4" border, and a grey batik grey for a wider border.

border fabrics

Fabrics I found in my stash for borders

I finished off with an almost black binding. What do you think?

The yellow rose quilt

Yellow rose quilt finished

I totally enjoyed the process and this quilt made a wonderful gift. How about you? Would you like to give it a try? I'd love to have you in the class for this and more fun projects. Printing on Fabric

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting

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  • That is stunning, it is absolutely breath taking. Thank you and GOD bless.

    Posted by Penny D, 30/10/2014 1:40pm (7 years ago)

  • Please do not use my last name ,

    Posted by Patricia, 30/10/2014 12:54pm (7 years ago)

  • Beautiful, serene, if you dropped a petal on the table or leaf , would it change the appearance, I feel if it was mine, I would add something on the table to take away the simple look it's too elegant looking for me.. ( I am not an artist, but I quilt luv modern art and some abstract fabric. Quilting. Bye.

    Posted by Patricia, 30/10/2014 12:51pm (7 years ago)

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