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Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Evolution Of An Idea

Printed onto fabric
My Supplies
I decided it was time to take a break from the remodeling we are doing to our house and do some designing. When I am busy working on other projects such as my house, I still get ideas all the time as I am working, so I have gotten pretty good at tucking them in the back of my mind until I have the time to work on them. We are down to two rooms left on our remodel job and most of what needs to be done is "man's work." The cooler, "fall type" weather we have been having is getting me in the mood to work in my studio anyway. As some of you may know, I like designing small things, "putsy" as my Mom used to say. As an artist I like detail so I think that is where that comes from. When thinking of quilt blocks, most people see quilts, big quilts, throw size etc. I do sometimes too, but I always think the block in itself is a design all of it's own, and I like to think of ways to use them in the products I design, not necessarily always a quilt. In the following pictures, I am going to show you how an idea I had comes to evolve into something. First I had to gather my supplies: (See Photo at the top of post
My first drawing is made using a mechanical pencil. This is my rough draft;I then use permanent ink markers such as Pigma or Copic pens in black to go over my pencil lines to make a permanent drawing. Here is where I use an eraser to remove the pencil lines. My drawing is now just a black line drawing. I call that my original.
Two quilt block designs in black pen
Since I want to be able to print this drawing onto a fabric sheet, I prefer to not have block pen lines, so now I re-trace my drawing using a sepia colored permanent ink pen, as you can see in the photo below. They are alittle hard to see in this picture, but in real life they are very clear lines.
Drawings now done in sepia colored ink
My next step is to use my colored pencils to apply the color and shading to my design. First, I lay
down the color where I want it, not necessarily as dark as I want it, but enough so I know where I want what color. I now start to apply another layer of color in the areas where I want it shaded darker. As you know, shading is what gives a drawing form and the form is what gives dimension or perspective. I continue to lay color until I have it shaded just the way I want it. I try to make good use of my paper and supplies by getting ideas about how to use all of the room on the sheet as my plan is to transfer this to fabric, and I don't want to waste a fabric transfer sheet.
Colorplate prior to printing
Ok, I am now ready to print to fabric. If you have never done this before, it does take a certain amount of practice to get everything just right. You may have to adjust the color on your printer, etc. to get everything just right. This is what the finished product looks like after I have added some stitches and tiny buttons to embellish it.

These happen to be miniature Christmas ornaments. Thease are the steps I use for making all of my preprinted designs, so there are a lot of steps but it is worth it in the end.
Also at the top I have posted a picture of what it looks like when it is printed on the fabric. Sorry it is out of sequence.
The fun part is when it is ready to be stitched!
Happy Stitching!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to your posts.

  2. Hello, your blog is very beautiful!!!