Surface Design

Surface design techniques can be used to create unique, original fabrics for your art quilts. Common techniques include fabric dyeing, painting, and printing, as well as digital image transfer. There are many different approaches within each of these categories: screen printing, immersion dyeing, stamping, and more. For inspiration and ideas, visit the Quilting Arts Surface Design Forum.

Block Print Like a Pro

Have you ever tried block printing? The technique of using wooden blocks to print on fabric is just one of many techniques I’ve learned by watching Quilting Arts TV. While several fiber artists have demonstrated their tips and tricks for this timeless technique over the years, my go-to reference is Jamie Malden’s article “Guide to…

Gyotaku Fish Printing Made Easy

Have you ever heard of gyotaku? I hadn’t until I sat in on the filming of Jane Dávila’s online course Printing on Fabric with Natural Materials. In one of the lessons, Jane breaks out her stash of rubber replica fish and teaches us everything we need to know about this fish printing technique along with…

Sun Printing on Fabric

In my family, there are several accountants, so Tax Day marks the end of working around the clock and the beginning of free time to be filled with activities and adventures. This, paired with the beautiful spring weather, is making my desire to be outside harder and harder to ignore. Surface design techniques are my…

Fabrics dyed using the flat dyeing technique.

How to Dye Fabric in the Great Outdoors

As the weather turns warm and flowers start to blossom, I begin to hear the siren call of the great outdoors. In my world, this is the perfect time of year not only to be inspired by nature but to take my projects outside.  I want to be out there to hear the birds chirping…

Easy Ways to Make a Stencil for Fabric Painting

The days until Christmas and Hanukah are dwindling. I don’t know about you, but I’m already starting to worry there won’t be enough time to order all of my supplies and to finish the holiday projects I have planned on time. In an effort to stave off my anxiety, I decided to take a look…

Quick & Easy Screen Printing Project: Khaki Coasters

In true procrastinator fashion, I have quite a few Christmas gifts to make and only 10 days left to create them! The time has come for me to set aside the piecing projects I’ve barely started in favor of easy screen printing projects. The Khaki Coasters from the 2012/2013 issue of Quilting Arts Gifts are…

Painting on Fabric: How to Choose the Right Paint

Painting on fabric is a great surface design technique to use when making gifts for friends and family. With paint it’s easy to personalize gifts that are handmade or even store bought. Try painting a small symbol, motif, or monogram to create a quick and easy custom present the recipient is sure to love. If…

Fabric Painting Designs: Color-Wash Printing

There are so many options when it comes to fabric painting and surface design techniques. You can use one technique to create a vibrant piece of art or you can layer multiple techniques to create something entirely different—yet no less gorgeous. Color-wash printing is an excellent fabric painting design that is both quick and easy.…

Free-Motion Quilting Inspired by the Masters

We’ve all walked through museums to soak up inspiration as we stop to inspect the work of our favorite artists. There is something about the excitement and wonderment that accompanies this sacred march through galleries filled with works of art. I was reminded of that feeling as I looked through the pages of the eighth…