Tuesday, November 30, 2010


12" by 14"
Commercially dyed cotton fabric, water color pencils and crayons, 
hand dyed embroidery thread, hand quilted

I tried a new technique (my goal for the IT! challenge) with this picture that really turned out to be very easy.  In fact, one of my biggest problems when working on the quilt was feeling like I was making a kit.  You know, those crewel kits where you can buy the pre-printed fabric, add a few stitches for highlight, and call it done. Anyway, while I like the result, I expect to fuss with it a bit to find those finishing touches that will turn it from okay to outstanding.  

Here are the steps in the technique that I used.

1.  I played with the photograph a bit in Photoshop to crop it just a bit, flip it so it would print correctly, increase the contrast, and then to turn it into a black and white picture.

2.  I printed the picture on my home ink jet printer and then later copied it using a carbon-based copier.

3. I transferred the black carbon copy onto white cotton fabric using CitraSolv.  The process is simple!  Just place the picture face down on the fabric (which is why I had to reverse the print), rub the back of the picture with a cotton ball soaked in CitraSolv, and "presto!" the carbon is transferred onto the fabric.

4.  The next step was to color in the back and white picture using water soluble pencils and crayons.  If you can color in a coloring book then you can do this step. There are three techniques to use with the watercolor pencils and crayons: you can work with them dry and then later wet them, work with them wet, or work with them dry and dry bond them to the fabric.  I used all three techniques depending on how much blending I wanted.

5.  I added texture to the work by using my hand dyed embroidery thread to hand stitch the vegetation.  I used a variety of stitches but the primary one was simply the seed stitch--simple straight lines.

6.  The next step was to layer it into a quilt sandwich and do some quilting.  I used minimal quilting and used it primarily to add more texture the chair and building.

7.  Last step was to finish it off and I used a simple double fold binding.

Here are some detail shots of the vegetation.


  1. Judith, it's charming! Combining those techniques of transferring, "coloring", and embroidery works very well. I like how the dimension and saturation of the threads draws the focus to the plantings while setting the rest of the scene further into the background. Bravo!

  2. I think this is way super and doesn't look kittish at all. I will have to experiment with this idea next year on some Madonna pieces. Great!

  3. An ingenious combination of techniques, and the result is great! I love the kind of faded look of the scene and the texture added by the hand work.

  4. Nellie said it well - the piece has wonderful depth. Looking forward to seeing what you do to take it to outstanding. FYI - the vine on the cottage is a climbing rose, Mme. Alfred Carrière.

  5. I agree with the rest. Love the way the thread work adds both dimension and texture! Great tutorial for all of us as well.
    Be sure to share any new additions that you make.

  6. AHHHH! this is one that is close to my heart! Wonderful mix of embroidery and color. Very well done!


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