Monday, 13 August 2012

Playing with Paint

The Waverley Art Quilters decided to have a month of playing and experimenting with fabric paint and pencils. I don't usually do painted quilts but I do have a selection of various paints and pencils and thought I would do a few experiments to find out what worked well and if I liked the technique.

I painted a butterfly on a fine cotton fabric using 5 different paints. Paints used were Paintstik Oil Paint, Tsukineko Ink, Deco Art So Soft, Lumiere and Setacolor.

All the paints were suitable for use on fabric and could be heat set to become permanent. All paints were used straight from the bottle undiluted with no water on the brush.

These are my results

Paintstik Oil Paint

No bleeding
Great for stencils
Doesn't change the hand ( feel)  if used lightly
Difficult to get a lot of paint on the brush
Very dry and hard to apply in tight spots
Can be messy getting the seal off the top of the Paintstik

Tsukineko Ink

Very easy to apply
Nice bright colour
Doesn't change the hand (feel) of the fabric
Easy to quilt
Wonderful for shading when used dry with the applicators
Colour bleeding when used straight from the bottle with a brush


Very easy to apply
Lovely strong, clear colour
Sometimes you might not want such a metallic look
Fabric slightly stiff after painting
Needle popping sound when quilting through it.

Deco Art Soft

Easy to apply
Little squeeze bottles clean and easy to use
No bleeding
Slight change in the hand (feel) of fabric
Slight needle popping sound when quilting through it


Easy to apply
Easy to quilt through
Slight bleeding
Slight change in hand or feel of fabric

I painted a rectangle of all 5 paints and quilted through it as a further test to see if any of the paints were difficult to quilt through and if the quilting left visible holes in the fabric. They all performed well with the Tsukineko and Setacolor the best of all.
Quilting through the paint


I love the Lumiere paint, it is so easy to apply with no bleeding. There are times when I may not want such a strong metallic colour, for instance when painting a face and then I would use the Deco Art- So Soft paint.  Deco Art-So Soft was recommended in a portrait class I did with Bonnie McCaffery.
To be fair to the Tsukineko Ink, they don't recommend that you paint straight from the bottle. They have designed special applicators and used quite dry they work very well for shading on applique with no bleeding.
I have used them a lot for shading in my crazy quilts.
Shading on Polar Bear

I did some further tests with the Inktense Fabric pencils and Paintstiks but I'll tell you about another day.
Bye for now,


Little House on the Hill said...

Hi linda your crazy patch is awsome. Do the inks, paints fade over time ?

Linda Steele said...

I have been using the inks for 10 years now, with no problems of fading, the same with the paints.

Frances Clements Fawcett said...

Hi Linda - great post with your feedback on paint!
I adore painting on fabric- and am excited to try some of the products you describe.
I adore Setacolor for its sun painting qualities and good hand. I dilute it a bunch and layer it as a wash on fine cotton, then dry and heat-set it. It's fabulous to work with.
I have a handful of Shiva sticks but am a bit put off by their messiness...though when I do use them I love the shimmer they create.
It's finally warm here in Port Townsend which means I can drag my table outside and paint with abandon.
Hugs from here,

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Frances,
I am looking forward to the warmer weather to have a play outside with paints and dyes. Thanks for reminding me about the sunprints, I haven't done that for a while.