Friday, 27 September 2013

Benefits of a test cloth

When you’re trying out paint and painting techniques for a quilt project, it’s just as important to see what doesn’t work, as what does, and you’ll never know until you try. An idea that looks good in your head, may not work so well on fabric. I’ll deliberately go too far every time, trying things that I think will look awful; this is why test cloths often are an important step of my process.

I prefer to make my cloths from the same materials and quilting techniques that I am using in my quilt. They are far from replica of the quilt, but they give me a realistic idea of how the final piece will paint out.

My quilt-in-process is rather dark-medium-ish, so I need to add light. I have a bottle of silver fabric paint, and I quite like its light reflecting qualities.

My first attempts involved Lutradur; painting onto the Lutradur and using it as a stamp (worked ok-ish):

and paining through it as a mask (result: ugly blob)

Painting lightly with an almost dry brush, leaving a layer of grey on top of the black (boring)

And using the paint brush as a stamp, going way too far, into a galaxy far, far away.

Stamping with angel weave (polyester table runner on a roll), but it was too fine, giving a blurry result.

The last thing I tried today was stamping with a fine gold mesh, and I love the grid effect. The only issue is that it’s quite flimsy, leaving me with little control of the result on a big project.

I’m not ready to go looking for stencils and stamps at the craft store just yet, so I’ll have another look around for the perfect supply here at home. Even with the silvery mess on the top,

I still have a blank canvas on the back. You've got to love a two-for-one test cloth, made bright and colourful by using up odds and ends of spools. If you have ever been in my Quilta Figurer free motion quilting class, you'll probably recognize the quilting patterns.

And, in case you haven't done so already, there’s still time to enter the Lovebird giveaway; you’ll find the post here. Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Fun to experiment...that's what I do almost always anyway. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but it always pushes you further along on the journey. xox

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