I used a glue-resist and hand-painted some lovely and lively pieces! Now I want to use them in an art quilt BUT they are so "dull" comparted to the commercial prints I chose. I wanted my hand-painted pieces to stand out but I think they will be lost. How do I brighten them up, or how do I dull the commercial fabric? Can I paint over the commercial fabric print to lessen its impact? Maybe I only use the commercial prints sparingly (but of course then I have to go back the drawing board to re-design!!!). Any suggestions? Thanks! Having so much fun with this whole adventure of art/quilt/sew/paint/embroider.
Perhaps you could add some "shimmer" to your work by either dry-brushing or splatter-painting some metallic paints to your fabric. You could also add some free motion stitching to the surface with some brightly colored threads.
My answer will partially depend on whether you will wash your art quilts or not. I never wash my art quilts, so I don't have a problem using different types of paints. I don't worry about having to wash them later nor do they get wet - on purpose. I don't actually use them.
That being said, I started out using commercial fabric before I started dyeing more of my own fabrics. The trick is to use fabric that does not compete with what your doing. It can be bold but you may want it to be be contrasting. I have found that totally black or dark blue works well with white, bright yellow, or red paint, etc. Light colors and patterns work the best. You may have to cover up more of your fabric with paint or stitching if the fabric is more bold or competes.
Have you tried Lumiere paints? They are metallic and very bright fabric paints. I have used them with stencils and they work very well against patterned fabrics as long as it is contrasting.
If you don't wash your fabrics, I would also recommend Smooch Inks for detailing, doodling , and writing on your fabric. It is very bright and will provide a great contrast against your fabric. I use it to outline things on my fabric and with stencils. Same goes for Sakura gel pens - dark colors.
I am just trying out a new product that I have been playing with Tulip's new Graffiti line of fabric paints called Fashion Graffiti. They are spray paints. They have some neon colors in the spray paints and in fabric markers. They are very bold. I will be bringing my graffiti experiment results to International Quilt Fest Chicago In April to share with all of you.
Belinda aka crazyartgirl
Have you considered using the back sides of the commercial pieces? You will still get the patterns and colors, but they will be muted. Or if you are going to do multi-media, you could treat the commercial fabrics to a coat of gesso.
I am assuming that you like your hand dyed pieces as they are, but if you don't, then any number of overdying techniques might do the trick, such as those others have mentioned.----Use a gel pen to outline some of your glue resist areas?
Or, you could enhance the glue resist areas wtih Lumiere paint to emphasize the designs? Or how about UTEE, colored or clear to add shimmer. Or how about careful application of gold leaf? Remember that you can also emphasize areas with quilting and hand stitching using contrasting theads. Beads will als enhance an area nicely.
I'm intrigued to see what you are up to. Will you share with us?
Thank you for all the great ideas! I hadn't thought of making my piece brighter. I really like the idea of outlining the glue resist areas with ink pen. I think I will try that and then add hand embroidery in the "white space" that the glue left behind. Maybe some blue beads in the center. I've attached two photos. The first is of the glue resist piece I made with pebeo setacolor paints on white muslin. I like it a lot. The second is the layered commercial fabric piece for the background. Now that I've taken the picture I can see that I need more layers in the bottom area. Some plain green or brown to break up all the pattern going on. I still want the sun to be the focal point. Thanks!
What a nice piece! In the pictures, you really can't see that the commercial pieces are brighter than your resist piece. Personally, I'd keep the colors that you have and just continue to enhance the focal point of your sun. With the ideas you have in mind, I'm betting that you will emphasize the sun even more. This is going to be a wonderful little art quilt.
I like glue resist too. It is fun to work with. Looking at your photos it seems your fabrics are blending well. I agree, you can enhance your focal point, the sun, with embroidery, paint or beading if you wanted to do that. I used glue resist on some silk fabric and painted with the setacolor paints and it turned out well.