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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Painted Dahlia

(Please Pin one of these two photos please and thank you!!) =cD

I had a little time in between customer projects for some "play" time. ;c) When I saw THIS QUILT made by Pat at "Color Me Quilty" I just HADDDD to try it. . like RIGHT THEN.  
Awhile back my friend Kellie and I drove up to Craft3000 in Parkersburg, WV.   They are the only craft store anywhere near me that still carries procion mx dyes and they have a HUGE collection of textile paints. I had never been to the store before and so I purchased a few dyes and a a few colors (red/yellow/blue/green&brown) of Jacquard textile Paints.   It's been awhile but I finally pulled them out to give them a try.  
Another thing I wanted to try was the giant dahlia pattern.   BUT, instead of doing a regular pieced quilt, I just used the design and decided to make it a wholecloth quilt.   It's not "giant" (only about 52cm wide) - it's more FUN size. ;c) 

 First I searched for Dahlia patterns online.  I found one that was PERFECT because it was a 24-bit, MEANING, I could open it up in PAINT and play with it.
I colored it in the way I liked it and saved it.

Then I went back to black and white so I could print it and trace onto my fabric.  
If you all are not familiar with the program called "POSTERAZOR" you SHOULD be.   It is an invaluable tool for quilting.  It's a completely free program that allows you to take a photo and make it any size you want.  Then it turns it into a .pdf so you can print it.  It's completely user friendly and I would pay big money for the program. . but like I said, it's completely free.
I measured my fabric and it was around 55cm wide so I made the dahlia print out at about 50cm. 
I taped the pattern together and laid it under my fabric.  Then I used a clover water soluable marker to trace the pattern.  

 I basted the quilt and then quilted feather plumes in each of the dahlia's petals.

 I then quilted MORE feathers in the borders .  There's no such thing as TOO much feather right?
 Then I got my paints and started painting each feather a different color.

 Here's my messy workstation half way through ;c)
 I stopped at Joanns and using my 1/2off coupon got some metallic paints, some WHITE, and a new paintbrush.   Where the feather came into the vein, I was dotting that part by dipping a pencil into the paint.  This small paintbrush worked MUCH better than that.

 I finished all the petals and here's my mess now.   LOL.   I mixed up the paint on the shiny side of some freezer paper.  I"m not sure what I'm going to do with the rest of the quilt.  I might leave it as-is, or I might go in and paint the center gold and the little squares at the end of each petal silver.  I dunno. Any suggestions?   I also thought about using brown.

This has been a real eye-opening experience for me.  After finding out how EASY it is to paint a quilt, the possibilities are really endless!!!  Be sure to check out the link to Pat's blog at the beginning of this post to see how she did hers.   She used all "Lumiere" paints, meaning they will work on even dark colored fabrics and they're all metallic.  
As I was working on this I looked through my photos I took at this year's International Quilt Festival, and I think NOW I realize how some of the quilts were done.   They were PAINTED!!!! I just can't believe it.   
My next project I definitely want to try painting on black fabric with the Lumiere metallic paints.
I really think with these methods I could make a quilt that I felt confident enough about to enter into a quilt show.
BUT, is painting a quilt cheating?  I think I kind of thought it was before trying it myself.  But it's SO much work. . maybe even more work then actually appliqueing each piece.   But it's less limited to the fabrics you can find or dye.   Your color palette is only limited to your imagination.  


  1. I love your work on this! The impact of the rainbow dahlia is intensified by the white quilted space on which it floats. It is elegant as it is. Let it be!

  2. Oh man that is just gorgeous. One of these days I want to try something like this. I pinned it for later use, let me know if that's a problem. Just beautiful!!

  3. I am in LOVE with your quilt. You have inspired me to do more!!!!

  4. I love rainbows and geometric designs! This is beautiful and perfect! and I did PIN you! into my 'things to make'!

  5. Gorgeous! You did a great job on this! I haven't tried painting but you have inspired me to put it on my "want to do someday soon" list :*)

  6. Very nice! Did you have any trouble keeping the paint within the stitching? I was always afraid it would bleed over. I think I would paint the other feathers (maybe all one darker collor to make the dahlia stand out but then leave some white background.
    Beautiful work! Marianne in VT

  7. Just gorgeous! Thanks for showing us.

  8. There is a possibility of the paint "bleeding" through the stitching lines. That's why you have to be very careful. The Jacquard textile paints are quite thick. . you will have to thin them down with something so they're easier to work with. . but not TOO much.
    I used a very small brush to do the narrow part of the feathers close to the vein.. and a bit larger brush on the larger outside areas of the feather.
    If you screw up an area. you can let the paint dry, and then paint over it with white. You can see I had to do that in the center. I splashed a little bit of orange paint accidentally.

  9. A-MAZ-ING!! I LURVE this quilt so much!! Absolutely brilliant, I'm pinning your coloured version!!