Monthly Archives: November 2012

Printing on Fabric

I want to make a quilt for a new bed that I will be getting soon.  I would like to print some of my watercolours and other art onto fabric and use that as the basis for my quilt.  I used to have a recipe for treating fabric with Ultra Downy® so that the print would be permanent but I can’t find it anywhere.  I searched online and found some instructions that were different from what I remembered.  So I decided to experiment using a combination of what I found on the internet and what I remembered.

I used a photo that I had of my watercolour  “Strangled”.  I resized it so that it would fit on a 8 1/2  X 11 sheet with room for  seam allowances.

Strangled – Watercolour

I first washed the fabric (100% cotton pillow ticking)  in  Synthapol®  following the directions on the bottle. This is to remove the sizing from the fabric.  I then removed some of the fabric (for a control) and placed the remaining cotton, still wet, in a container filled with equal amounts of Unscented Ultra Downy®  and water.  After 30 minutes I drained the solution from the fabric and hung it up to dry.

24 hours later I cut a piece of prepared fabric and a piece of my control fabric and ironed each onto a piece of  freezer paper. I recut each of these to 8 1/2 X 11. I labelled both pieces with a tiny mark in what would be the seam allowance of the fabric. This was so I could tell which piece of fabric had been treated.  I taped the leading edge of the freezer paper/fabric  and fed each into the printer separately.

I printed the picture on both sheets using  plain paper and best quality settings.

printed fabric before washing

There was no significant difference between the two results after printing.

After waiting another 24 hours for the ink to dry, I removed the freezer paper and ironed the two pieces of fabric on both sides.  I waited until the fabric cooled and then washed each separately.

The piece that had been treated with Ultra Downy  left a little bit of colour in the water. The colour of untreated piece was almost entirely washed away.

Fabric -printed, washed and ironed.

The red didn’t come out as well as I would have liked.  It didn’t wash away; it wasn’t there in the print.

Bird’s Eye View

Here is another watercolour.  I intended to do something abstract but I started with a drawing of a traditional landscape.  I even used frisket to protect some areas.

initial washes

Once the initial washes were dry I added shapes in transparent glazes.

I removed the frisket near the end.

I call it Bird’s Eye View.

Sunflower Fields

This is a watercolour from a picture I took while cycling in France.

Sunflower Fields

house detail


Epiphyte or Parasite?

An epiphyte is a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic.  It obtains  nutrients and water from the air.

This is a painting from a picture I took at the Botanical Gardens in Rio de Janeiro.  There was no label so I don’t know if the other plants growing on the tree were parasites or epiphytes.

There appears to be at least 2 different types of plant growing on this tree.  I took liberties with the colour of the tree trunk but the fruit was orange.


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